Heat stroke in dogs

Roughly 1 in 2 dogs with heat stroke will die. This is totally tragic and largely unavoidable

Some dogs are more likely to develop heat stroke as they are less able to cope with variations in environmental temperatures. Characteristics to look out for include:

  • Long haired dogs with dense coats e.g Pekinese
  • Young and elderly dogs
  • Brachycephalic breeds (flat faced) e.g Bulldogs, Pugs, Shih tzus, Boston
  • Terriers
  • Overweight dogs
  • Dogs with heart or lung disease
  • Very excitable dogs that may over exercise in the heat

Symptoms of heat stroke may include:

  • Excessive, heavy panting
  • Exhaustion
  • Confusion and weakness
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrheoa
  • Fast heart rate – this can be felt by putting you hand over just behind their elbows
  • Collapsing or inability to get up.
  • Seizures

They will not show all of these symptoms so please call your vets even if you only notice your dog showing one symptoms. As with all things, the sooner a problem is recognised the better the chance of recovery.

Prevention methods

  • Never leave your dog in the car, even if the windows are open. I am shocked by how often this happens.
  • Make sure your pet has access to a cool shady area. 
  • Ensure that plenty of water is available – some dogs will like ice cubes too!
  • No matter how keen your dog appears to be, do not take it for a walk in the midday sun.
  • Be careful not to walk your dogs on hot pavements as this can burn their pads.

Text and info graphic extracted from www.myvetclaire.co.uk

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