Signs Of Heat Stroke

Heatstroke: Know The Signs And What To Do

If the temperature is hot enough to make you sweat, it’s hot enough for your pet to suffer from heatstroke. According to Dr. Robyn Jaynes, PetSmart’s vet expert, heatstroke occurs when your pet’s body temperature, normally 102 degrees, rises to 105 to 110 degrees. It can cause lethargy, coma, organ failure and death. Learn how to spot the signs and what do to if your pet is suffering from heatstroke.

The signs

All pets are susceptible to heatstroke, but puppies under 6 months of age, pets that are older, overweight, or ill and brachycelphalic breeds with short heads and flat muzzles like Pugs and English Bulldogs are especially at risk. Look for:

  • Rapid panting
  • Gasping
  • Wide eyes
  • Excessive salivating
  • Bright red gums
  • Loss of mobility (staggering, stumbling)
  • Weakness
  • Collapse

What to do

If your pet is suffering from heatstroke, his body temperature must be brought back to normal gradually to avoid shock, Dr. Jaynes says.

  • Immediately discontinue activity and find a cool place for him to lie down. (If you’re outside and not close to an indoor facility, shade may be your best option).
  • Instead place him on his side and thoroughly wet him with room-temperature water, especially the belly and inside the legs. Do not use cold water. Make sure the water reaches his skin and not just the fur. Wetting the pads of the feet with water is helpful as well.
  • Gradually switch to cooler water.
  • Seek veterinary attention immediately. Cooling efforts should be continued on the way to the vet.

Related: Ways To Keep Your Dog Cool And Prevent Heatstroke

2 Responses

  1. These things always get me – are we to sit in the cool and do the water thing and then see the vet – OR as it says seek veterinary attention immediately? Is the former for less serious cases? Either way, I am super vigilant about keeping the dogs cool on hot days – but those warning are everywhere… I will ask my vet next time I am there. Thanks for the great informative blog.

  2. Jason and Patrick
    From what I read in your blog…(yes I checked you out 🙂 ) you pretty much have the right idea. Going to the Vet ‘immediately’ would be the thing to do for those that just do not know how to react. If you have cooled your pet down and he is bouncy and back to normal you are out of the woods no need for a vet. The most important thing to remember is if an animal does get overheated ‘gradually’ cool him down. To go from extreme heat to extreme cold
    ie) COLD air conditioning or an icy bath will put your pet into shock.
    I have a ‘Chi’ as well and they are very fragile and delicate (even if they act like Rottweillers!!) always be extra careful with mini breeds.
    Thanks for your visit come back and see us.

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