About Heat Stroke

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 Heat Stroke
The summer months can be brutal to your dog. Dogs are much more susceptible to heatstroke than humans. One reason for this is, your dog wears his fur coat all year round. And while dogs do have sweat glands on their feet, they do not have them on the rest of their body. They rely on panting, a method of breathing out excess heat, to cool down their bodies. This method is not as effective as sweating.  

Some breeds are much more susceptible to the heat then others. Dogs with thick, double-coats have a harder time beating the heat.  Also dogs with pushed back faces, such as Bulldogs, Pugs and Boxers, have smaller airways, and therefore have less of an ability to blow out hot air.

The major cause of heatstroke in dogs is leaving a dog in a parked car. Even with the windows cracked on a 70° F (22° C) to 80° F (26° C) day, while it may feel comfortable outside, the inside of your car can heat up to over 100° F (38° C) in minutes! As you can imagine, with that fur coat on, your dog's body temperature rises very quickly.

Exercising in hot weather is another common way heatstroke can occur. As with humans, older dogs, over-weight dogs and or dogs with heart or lung ailments, are much more likely to suffer from heatstroke than younger dogs that are more in shape. Do not push your dog to exercise on very hot or humid days.

Suspecting Heatstroke

If you suspect your dog has heatstroke, cool him down as quickly as you can and call your vet immediately.

Symptoms of Heatstroke in Dogs:

Rapid heavy panting
Petechiae (pinpoint, deep-red hemorrhages on gums/ skin)
Bright red mucous membranes on the gums and conjunctiva of the eyes
Hyperventilation (gasping for air)
Salivation early then dry gums as heat prostration sets in
Glassy eyes
Anxious expression
Refusal to obey commands
Warm, dry skin
Rapid heartbeat