June 29, 2009 at 12:07 pm #63671
As we are heading for summer I thought it was a good time to put up an article on Heatstroke this one I thought said it all
Dog Heatstroke Survival Guide
Know how to treat and prevent this dangerous condition.
What is heatstroke?
In simple terms, heatstroke occurs when a dog loses its natural ability to
regulate its body temperature. Dogs don’t sweat all over their bodies the way
humans do. Canine body temperature is primarily regulated through respiration
(i.e., panting). If a dog’s respiratory tract cannot evacuate heat quickly
enough, heatstroke can occur.
To know whether or not your dog is suffering from heatstroke (as opposed to
merely heat exposure), it’s important to know the signs of heatstroke.
A dog’s normal resting temperature is about 100.5 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit.
Once a dog’s temperature rises above 105 degrees, physiological changes start to
take place, and the dog begins to experience the effects of heatstroke. At 106
to 108 degrees, the dog begins to suffer irreversible damage to the kidneys,
liver, gastrointestinal tract, heart and brain.
If a dog is experiencing heatstroke, you may observe excessive panting;
hyperventilation; increased salivation; dry gums that become pale, grayish and
tacky; rapid or erratic pulse; weakness; confusion; inattention; vomiting;
diarrhea; and possible rectal bleeding. If the dog continues to overheat,
breathing efforts become slowed or absent, and finally, seizures or coma can
The amount of damage a dog sustains when stricken with heatstroke depends on the
magnitude and duration of the exposure. The longer and more severe the exposure,
the worse the damage will be.
What to do
1 Pay attention to your dog. Recognizing the symptoms of heatstroke and
responding quickly is essential for the best possible outcome.
2 Get into the shade. If you think your dog is suffering from heatstroke, move
it into a shaded area and out of direct sunlight. Apply cool water to the inner
thighs and stomach of the dog, where there’s a higher concentration of
relatively superficial, large blood vessels. Apply cool water to the foot pads,
3 Use running water. A faucet or hose is the best way to wet down your dog’s
body. Never submerge your dog in water, such as in a pool or tub – this could
cool the dog too rapidly, leading to further complications, including cardiac
arrest and bloating.
4 Use cool – not cold – water. Many people make the mistake of using cold water
or ice to cool the dog. When faced with a dog suffering from heatstroke,
remember that the goal is to cool the dog. Using ice or extremely cold water is
actually counterproductive to this process because ice and cold water cause the
blood vessels to constrict, which slows blood flow, thus slowing the cooling
5 Don’t cover the dog. One of the keys to successfully cooling your dog is
ensuring the water being placed on the dog can evaporate. Never cover an
overheated dog with a wet towel or blanket. This inhibits evaporation and
creates a sauna effect around your dog’s body. Likewise, don’t wet the dog down
and put it into an enclosed area, such as a kennel. Any air flow during the
cooling process is helpful in reducing the dog’s body temperature. Sitting with
the wet dog in a running car with the air conditioner blowing is an ideal
6 Keep the dog moving. It’s important to try to encourage your dog to stand or
walk slowly as it cools down. This is because the circulating blood tends to
pool in certain areas if the dog is lying down, thus preventing the cooled blood
from circulating back to the core.
7 Allow the dog to drink small amounts of water. Cooling the dog is the first
priority. Hydration is the next. Don’t allow the dog to gulp water. Instead,
offer small amounts of water that’s cool, but not cold. If the dog drinks too
much water too rapidly, it could lead to vomiting or bloat.
8 Avoid giving human performance drinks. Performance beverages designed for
humans are not recommended because they are not formulated with the canine’s
physiology in mind. If you can’t get an overheated dog to drink water, try
offering chicken- or beef-based broths.
See a veterinarian
Once your dog’s temperature begins to drop, cease the cooling efforts and bring
the dog to a veterinarian as soon as possible. Your dog’s temperature should be
allowed to slowly return to normal once cooling has begun. A dog that’s cooled
too quickly may become hypothermic.
Even if your dog appears to be fully recovered, the veterinarian needs to check
to determine if the heatstroke caused any damage to your dog’s kidneys and
liver. The effects of heatstroke can continue for 48 to 72 hours longer, even if
your dog appears normal.
William Grant, DVM, a veterinarian for 20 years and former president of the
Southern California Veterinary Medical Association, has treated hundreds of
cases of heatstroke, ranging from mild to fatal.
According to Grant, the most common cause of death following heatstroke is
disseminated intravascular coagulopathy (blood coagulating throughout the body),
or DIC, which can occur hours or days after the heatstroke episode.
DIC can also be caused by pyometra or septicemia, but Grant says heatstroke is
the most common cause. “Once a dog develops DIC, it may bleed in the thorax,
abdomen, nose and intestine,” Grant says. “Once the blood-clotting factors are
consumed, there is an inability of the blood vessels to prevent leaking; the
condition is almost always fatal.” For this reason, follow-up veterinary care is
essential following a heatstroke episode, even if your dog seems to be
Prevention is the best medicine
The best treatment for heatstroke is prevention. Especially during the summer
months, it’s essential to be aware of the potential for heatstroke. Knowing the
signs of heatstroke, and taking the necessary steps to prevent it, will ensure
your dog can have a safe and active life year-round.June 29, 2009 at 1:19 pm #92979
thanks val…good one ….am moving to stickies in view of the recent thread culls …as we have lost loads….
had to go into some of this last night…cubert is seriously suffering…we been doing everything we normally do…iced beds…fluids…wetter food…fans…hosing…paws in cool water..ice…he drinking about 4 gallons a day over the weekend…he taking it real hard…and it is clinically depressing him…he wants to go to ground but can’t find anywhere cool enough and this lad dont do change ..so getting him to accept the cool bed is a bugger….about 3 this morning i was in …this aint just a hot dog mode…in the end i put him in the big oval bath full of cool water and got in with him…bless him he actually fell asleep in my arms in the water he was so knackered…he has not eaten much at all for 3 days now…
so yep folks…keep a close eye…when it comes on it comes on real fast so be alertJune 29, 2009 at 1:58 pm #92980
Victoria is the same she has been sick with it a couple of times this morning we have the air conditioner on here.
It always surpises me the dogs it affect more than others, Mel has a biggish coat but the weather has no effect on her at all she just sleeps on the tiles instead of her glass shelf.
Shishi is not bothered even being black
The beardies it makes no difference too never has with any of them they were out walking the ledge this morning and had a dip in the sea both were dry before they got home.
I have been down the town this morning there are plenty of grockles dragging dogs round the town, thank goodness they are not allowed on the beach otherwise the idiots would be sun bathing with their dogs
ValJune 29, 2009 at 2:24 pm #92981
falkor with more weight and the heavy water proof coats copes the best ….ami just does oh doG and finds somewhere…ted is fine…but this is cuberts first hot summer…
i been to see chrisy today and copper was the worse of her two …even tho presto is black…we did a hose down…
it noon….saw a guy jogging ::) with a fatish weim :-X on the way back…car temp said 30 degrees…dog was almost on her knees…he was squirting water into her mouth while she was on the move ffs…i stopped …was nice honest…got a mouthful… >:( vet had told him she needed to lose weight…he jogs so he had stuck her in a harness and heyho we going jogging… >:D…calmed down and 5 mins later…see a woman literally dragging a fat pug….stopped…was nice honest…but he always has his walk this time of day it the time of day he poo’s…errmmmmJune 29, 2009 at 2:54 pm #92982
I can’t say much on this as it is a soap box of mine, hot dogs on hot tarmac!
the other thing to remember is electrolytes especially if dogs are not drinking much or even too much, give them BEFORE they are needed not after.June 29, 2009 at 3:00 pm #92983
mine too sp…hence me stopping and trying to be tactful… ::)
and yep been doing the elects too…just my young lado really does not do change…he not learnt that bit yet…shringed him sat and sun iearly am to get stuff in him….now sees shringe and gets an arse on…. ::)June 29, 2009 at 3:36 pm #92984
ok…just had one ‘those’ emails… ::) re this thread ….obv from a guest that has read…..and blocked reply ::)
IT IS NOT THE END OF THE WORLD IF THE DOG DOES NOT HAVE A WALK….IT MAY BE THE END OF HIS/HER WORLD IF YOU WALK IN THIS WEATHER…GET REAL……….. >:D…..FOR dOgS SAKE BE FLEXIBLE….OR DONT BOTHER WALKING….OR REHOME TO SOMEONE WITH MORE BLOODY SENSE…. :order:June 29, 2009 at 4:02 pm #92985
were i am donwn the horses all day at the moment, stan has been coming down with me, we have shade and he regularly gets doused with the hose but he doesnt drink a lot when we are there. so how can i get him to drink more and do i need to start him on these electrothingymahiggys???June 29, 2009 at 4:11 pm #92986
Tam doesn’t want to walk, we have a reasonable size garden if they need a wee. Willow has been pestering to go walkies ::) tough, we may go for a slow short wander about 7.30 – 8.00 o’clock tonight and not before p:-) and NO ball play so she will cop the nark ::)
I don’t ‘do’ heat eitherJune 29, 2009 at 6:44 pm #92987
[quote author=kerrie and stan link=topic=14420.msg269226#msg269226 date=1246291330]
were i am donwn the horses all day at the moment, stan has been coming down with me, we have shade and he regularly gets doused with the hose but he doesnt drink a lot when we are there. so how can i get him to drink more and do i need to start him on these electrothingymahiggys???
if he is dehydrated then yes kerrie….dogs dont lose electrolytes to the same degree as humans do as we lose them when we sweat through the pores…thats why sweat tastes salty…but in this heat as SP said if not drinking enough or too much…(as cubert been doing)…then yes they need a top up…
i make up my own with glycerine salt and potassium but you can by it from chemists or vets ….something like lectade…like the stuff you get for babies when they have upset tumsJune 29, 2009 at 7:31 pm #92988
ok i might get some thenJune 29, 2009 at 7:53 pm #92989
it handy to keep some in just in case of tum upsets etcJune 29, 2009 at 8:28 pm #92990
will definatly get some in then ;DJune 29, 2009 at 9:22 pm #92991
is far to hot – Busters laying by the fan but he copes ok if he stays indoors – honey dont like it – shes stretched out on the floor to cool down and snoring her head off – but she never sleeps on the floor so i know its hot.
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