Just like humans, dogs can suffer from heat stroke. And heat stroke is a serious condition for dogs – possibly resulting in brain or kidney damage or both!
Many thanks to Jenna Stregowski, RVT a veterinary technician with a love for dogs and a concern for their well-being. This is a summary of her article.
Five Signs of Heat Stroke
- Increased rectal temperature. Normal temperature is 100.5 degrees to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Over 104° requires action and over 106° is a dire emergency.
- Vigorous panting
- Dark red gums, or tacky or dry mucus membranes (specifically the gums)
- Lying down and unwilling (or unable) to get up or collapse and/or loss of consciousness
- Dizziness or disorientation
What to do if you see any of those signs
- First, move your dog out of the heat and away from the sun right away.
- Begin cooling your dog by placing cool, wet rags or washcloths on the body – especially the pads of their feet and around their head.
- DO NOT use ice or very cold water! Extreme cold can cause the blood vessels to constrict, preventing the body’s core from cooling and actually causing the internal temperature to further rise. In addition, over-cooling can cause hypothermia, introducing a host of new problems. When the body temperature reaches 103°, stop cooling.
- Offer your dog cool water, but do not force water into your dog’s mouth.
- Call or visit your vet right away – even if your dog seems better. Internal damage might not be obvious to the naked eye, so an exam is necessary (and further testing may be recommended).
Most important of all, when it comes to heat stroke, your best protection is prevention…Keep your dog cool, provide fresh cool water and a shady cool spot to lie, and of course as an extra precaution have them wearing a MustLuvDogs Cool Coat®.
This is Val from the Cool Dog Blog. Stay cool.
Stay tuned for my next blog on Performance Dogs and Summer Shows.