HEAT STROKE IN DOGS
IT’S A HOT, HOT SUMMER!
The UK has been lucky through out much of June, enjoying hot, sizzling weather that normally greets us on foreign holidays. We have been able to spend more time outside, basking in the sun or enjoying events. When hot from the rising temperature and fierce sunshine, we can sip a cool drink, consume endless icecreams, maybe cool off in the sea. Yet, how is it for our dogs?
Dogs do not have the ability to lower their body temperature through sweating as we can. It is extremely easy for a dog to become overheated, potentially leading to heat stroke – severe, untreated cases can prove fatal. It is our responsibility to take precautions to avoid this. Afterall, prevention is better than cure.
There are straight forward steps that we can take to avoid our dog from suffering the effects of heat stroke:
- HYDRATION – provide plenty of fresh water, taking plenty with you if you are out and about
- TRAVELLING – avoid journeys during the hottest part of the day
- CARS – confinement can be fatal, NEVER LEAVE YOUR DOG IN A PARKED CAR even if windows are open
- PROVIDE SHADE – if you are out, ensure your dog has some form of shade to rest in
- EXERCISE – gentle walks early in the morning are best, avoid energetic, long walks
- SYMPTOMS – be aware of the warning signs that your dog is suffering from the heat
SIGN OF HEAT STROKE IN DOGS
If you are aware of the signs and symptoms of heat stroke, you can take steps to help your dog recover.
- Severe panting
- Excessive salivating
- Difficulty in breathing
- Vomiting and diarrhoea
- Temperature 40 c or above
- Blood in urine or nosebleeds
- Staggering and lethargy
- Collapse and loss of consciousness, which can lead to coma and death
HOW TO HELP YOUR DOG
Firstly, it is important to remain calm, do not panic as there are steps you can take to help your dog:
- Move your dog into a cool/shaded area – a place with air-conditioning is ideal
- Use cool (not icy) water to sponge or bathe your dog with – ensure contact with the skin
- Use a fan to help cool your dog
- Gently massage your dog to help the circulation process which will help to cool your dog
- Encourage your dog to drink water
- If your dogs symptoms do not rapidly improve SEEK VETERINARY HELP
If we are sensible, thoughtful and take precautions, we can certainly avoid heat stroke in our dogs. So, enjoy the sunshine (while it lasts!).