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Heat Stroke In Dogs


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Never leave your dog in a car for long periods of time without checking it, especially with high humidity. Humidity interferes with your pet's ability to eliminate body heat, thereby raising the risk of heat stroke in dogs, and animals in general.

Avail your pet of modern thermoregulating technology, cooling jackets and cooling pet beds.

Always make sure your pet stays hydrated when you travel. Bringing along water is a good idea. Acclimate your dog to exercise on hot days to avoid heat stroke, and provide access to water and air conditioning when signs of overheating occur.

Canines only perspire around their paws, not enough to cool the body. To rid themselves of excess heat, animals pant. Air moves through the nasal passages, which picks up excess heat from the body. As it is expelled through the mouth, the extra heat leaves along with it. This is an efficient way to control body heat, but severely limited in areas of high humidity or in close quarters.

Canine body temperatures above 105 Fahrenheit are dangerous. Body temperatures over 107 Fahrenheit is a critical emergency. Organ damage occurs at this temperature and most dogs won't drink water at this stage of heat stroke. It isn't a good idea to spend time trying to get them to. Just go quickly to the veterinarian.

Most people don't carry around thermometers, however, the physical signs of heat stroke in dogs are usually enough to go by.

Brachiocephalic (pug-nosed) dogs are more prone to heat stroke because their nasal passages are smaller and more difficult for them to circulate sufficient air for cooling. Overweight dogs are also more prone to heat stroke because extra layers of fat act as insulation, trapping heat in their bodies, restricting breathing.

Age is a factor in a dog's tendency to overheat and suffer heat stroke. Puppies may not have fully developed temperature regulating systems, and older dogs’ organ systems may not function at peak levels.

The inside of a car on a hot summer day can be lethal, but your dog needs you to know more than that to keep it safe from heat stroke and worse. Never leave your pets in the car on warm days, even with the windows cracked. If you need to run into a store, take your pet with you. Otherwise, ask a travel companion to walk your pet or remain with the pet in the car while you run your errand.

The car can become a death trap on a mild sunny day, and temperature can insidiously rise to well above 120 degrees! According to the Los Angeles SPCA, on a hot day, a car can heat up to 160 degrees in minutes, potentially causing your dog heat stroke, brain damage or possibly death, even with emergency treatment.

Death from heat stroke can occur quickly. The shortest interval between exposures to high heat extremes and death is about 20 minutes. The best way to avoid this terrible situation is prevention. If your dog can't come with you when you leave the car, leave the dog home.

You wouldn't leave Grandma in a car with the windows cracked, why would you leave your dog?

Too many dogs have suffered the ultimate end in a short period of time being left alone to roast.

If your canine is a swimmer, people assume that if your dog is in the water, your pet won't overheat. This just isn't true when the water temperature gets much above 75 degrees and if the dog is working hard in the water.

Signs of heat stroke in dogs:

  • Panting
  • Hyperventilation (deep breathing)
  • Salivation early then dry gums as heat prostration sets in
  • Staring
  • Anxious expression
  • Refusal to obey commands
  • Warm, dry skin
  • High fever
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea and sometimes bleeding
  • Collapse

At the first signs of serious heat distress, cool the dog immediately with cool or tepid water but not really cold water. If ice packs are available, apply to areas where circulation is very good, such as the “armpits", stomach or neck. Blowing air over the dog with a fan as you cool it off with water can be helpful. As soon as your dog seems to gain some comfort, go to your veterinarian. Delayed serious complications from heat stroke, including death, are possible, if not properly monitored and cared for.

Leaving your dog outdoors without shelter exposes your dog to heat stroke , and is just as dangerous as leaving it inside a hot car. Be sure it is not left in a cage in the hot sun, on a chain in the backyard, or outdoors in a run without sufficient shade or air circulation.

We have existed as a company since 1985, but it was a love of dogs, the dogs that have been a part of our life, and the passing of one dog in particular, Rusty, that inspired the creation of and - created to provide the things your dogs and pets need. Visit us for great information and quality dog supplies! Be sure to see our About Us page as well.

The two sites are dedicated to the dogs we have loved so deeply, and who have given us so much love in return. Purebreds and mixed breeds, but mostly rescues in need of a home. We educated them, but each one has had something to teach us in exchange.


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