Preventing and Treating Heatstroke for Fido
Heatstroke, a condition caused when a dog is unable to purge unneeded heat from their bodies, raises the temperature of their delicate internal organs and causes massive damage to a dog’s living tissue; this can kill the dog.
The signs of heatstroke are many but varied and very easily discerned. Such symptoms include increased panting or breathing (this sort of fast panting/breathing sounds more desperate than average. High pulse rate and bright red gums are also signs. Dogs also tend to look hot or as if they’re wilting, just like humans do. If left untreated, heatstroke leads to shock or unconsciousness.
The dog will need to be moved into a cool area with good ventilation and be soaked in cold water. Try to gently spray with cold water from a hose if a tub of ice water isn’t immediately available. Be careful, however, as once the dog’s temperature drops back down to a healthy 103 degrees Fahrenheit (39 degrees Celsius). Leaving the dog in cold water any longer risks causing hypothermia, so keep a close eye on your pet as he cools down after heat stroke.
Be especially protective of older and younger dogs, who suffer heatstroke more easily. Once your pet has stabilized and the situation seems to be over, you should still bring your dog to the veterinarian. Heatstroke has hidden effects, such as dehydration and brain damage, which may only show after the immediate danger of death is over. All in all, heatstroke is easy to prevent.
Keep plenty of water for him to drink and a shady spot to get out of the sun. Avoid excessive exercising on hot days. Simple steps, yet worth the effort to keep your dog healthy in the heat.