Heat Stroke in Dogs

By July 11, 2012 Uncategorized

Lethbridge is having a heat wave! While many of us are enjoying these extreme temperatures and basking in the sun for hours, we must remember some important safety tips when it comes to our dogs.

Heat stroke is a term commonly used to refer to a dog with an elevated body temperature exceeding 41C or (106F). The very young, elderly and some breeds such as bulldogs, pugs and boxers are more susceptible to the heat and therefore are at an increased risk for developing heat stroke. Some symptoms of heat stroke may include the following:

– Excessive panting, dehydration, excessive drooling, foaming at the mouth, labored or difficulty breathing, vomiting, diarrhea, confusion, lack of muscle coordination, weak and listless.

With these extreme temperatures, it is important to remember the following safety tips:

1. Never leave your dog in the car while you run to do errands. If it is 30C outside, which it has been these past few days here in Lethbridge, the inside temperature of your vehicle, even with the window left open a crack, can heat up to 70C within only 15 minutes.

2. Restrict outdoor excercise to early morning and late evening when temeratures are cooler. Always carry water with you when walking or excersising your dog.

3. Ensure your pet has access to water at all times.

4. If possible, keep your dog in a cool environment during the day, such as inside your home if it air conditioned or downstairs in a cool basement.

5. Have fun with the water. Spray your dog down with cool water. Place a kid size swimming pool filled with water in the backyard for your dog to enjoy on these hot summer days.

6. Always provide a shady spot in the yard for your dog to lie down in as a way to beat the summer heat.

Heat stroke can quickly turn deadly if not treated immediately. Successful treatment requires intensive emergency care. Please call Park Pet Hospital and speak to our staff if you have any concerns that your dog may have developed heat stroke.

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