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Learn About Heat Exhaustion and Heatstroke in Dogs During Hot Summers

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As everyone knows, spending quality time with your dog in summer is one of life’s simple but valuable moments. But, always take precautionary measures while spending time in the sun in the summers. To know about heat-Exhaustion in dogs, their causes, symptoms, and their prevention to keep your dog healthy and happy in summers.

Heatstroke (Heat Exhaustion) in dogs:

Heat Stroke or Heat Exhaustion is common terminology used for elevation in temperature or hypothermia. The average body temperature of a dog is 101.5F. Heatstroke (Heat exhaustion) is a type of hypothermia that occurs when the body’s heat-dissipating system cannot assist excessive heat. If the temperature of a dog rises to 103°F (39.4°C), this is a hypothermic condition. Heatstroke occurs in pets’, especially in hot summers and the humid climate. Dogs can be affected by heat exhaustion if they are from any breed or gender. Heatstroke not only affects summers, but it can also occur due to arduous physical activity and exercise. Organ failure, mental retardation, and other severe damages to your pets happen. The temperature where death happens is 41.2°C to 42.7°C (107°F to 109°F).

Types of Heat Stroke:

There are two types of Heatstroke in pets.

  1. Exertional Heat Stroke
  2. Non- Exertional Heat Stroke
  • Exertional heat stroke occurs in dogs who have not acclimated to their surroundings yet. It also occurs in dogs during extreme physical activity. Animals become partially accustomed to their surroundings in 10 to 20 days, but sometimes acclimation takes up to 60 days.
  • Non-Exertional heat stroke occurs in dogs when a pet is directly exposed to high temperatures without shade and cooling. When a dog is left in the yard or parked car without proper cooling, water, non-exertional heat stroke occurs.

Signs of Heat exhaustion in dogs:

Signs in pets are very similar to humans. Heatstroke in dogs have the following symptoms;

  • Increased body temperature 103°F or above
  • Moist body tissues and a pale or reddened appearance
  • Dehydration
  • Increased drooling
  • No urine or less urine production
  • Increased Heartbeat rate
  • Sticky and thick saliva
  • Heavy panting
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting Blood
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea

When severe heat stroke occurs in dogs, it can lead to coma, sudden kidney failure, cardiac arrest, seizures, and death.

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Causes:

The common cause of hypothermia or heat stroke is when a dog was left behind in a parked car with insufficient ventilation. Dog’s body temperature increases rapidly, often within seconds in a parked car. Dogs cannot produce sweat like humans to regulate their body temperature. Dogs have a relatively small number of sweat glands located in their footpads, so they cannot control their body temperature just like humans,

their only source of regulating body temperature is panting.”

Other causes of exhaustion are when exposed to a hairdryer for a while, high-energy exercises in hot and humid temperatures, and also included leaving the dog in the yard without shade and water indirect exposure to the sun. In an extensive level of exercise, dogs are at risk even the temperature is moderate and humid. Dogs having flat-faced like boxers, bulldogs, and pugs are at greater risk of heat exhaustion. Increased muscle activity can also increase temperature. Pyrexia is an infectious fever that also causes hypothermia.

Treatment:

If your dog has symptoms, immediately move the dog from the hot environment to shade right now. Here is the following guideline to treat this condition if your dog is unconscious:

  • Put your dog into the bathtub.
  • Open the cool shower on your dog by covering his whole body, particularly his head and neck.
  • Regularly give a shower to the pet, but to avoid aspiration and pneumonia, keep his head elevated all the time.
  • If putting your dog into the tub is not helpful, later use the garden hose to cool him.
  • Use a cold pack to his head to lower his temperature.
  • To avoid the risk of hypothermia, massage your dog’s legs to enhance blood circulation.
  • Let your dog drink cold water by adding a pinch of salt to keep him hydrated as he lacks minerals during dehydration.
  • Never use medicine like aspirin as it can cause more complications.
  • Check the temperature of a dog every five minutes, and also make sure by checking your dog for sock signs, by continuing the above told water-cooling process until his temperature falls below 103°F, a little bit low temperature is ok, but extreme degradation in temperature is fatal.

Dogs also need medical care regularly to ensure that they are safe. Heatstroke can cause many unseen damages like brain retardation, abnormal blood clotting, and kidney failure.

Preventions:

Heat exhaustion is intercepted by removing these risk factors by closely observing your pet. These are the following risk factors;

  • Blood coming from mouth and stool.
  • Hyper salivation.
  • Muscle tremors.
  • Poorly responsive.
  • Staggering.
  • Rapid heartbeat.
  • Panting.
  • Seizures.
  • Vomiting.

To avoid these risk factors, we should have to take preventions. All we knew was that pets, especially dogs try to please us. Observe dog’s closely on hot, humid days and never push a dog to play hard or do exercise in these conditions. When dogs have plenty of water, ventilation, and shade inside or outside, dogs can accommodate hot temperatures.


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

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