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How to Tell if Your Dog Has Heat Stroke: Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention

How to Tell if Your Dog Has Heat Stroke: Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention

Our veterinarians Mahopac provide a comprehensive guide on the causes, symptoms, and treatments of heat stroke in dogs. Additionally, we offer preventive measures to help safeguard your pet's well-being.

Dogs don't sweat like humans do, instead, they release heat through panting. However, if panting is not sufficient, their body temperature may increase, and they may suffer from heat stroke. It is crucial to seek immediate treatment to prevent the condition from becoming fatal.

What causes heat stroke in dogs?

Dogs can suffer from heat stroke in any hot environment, and it is usually caused by a pet owner's careless actions, such as leaving a dog in a car or not providing water and shade when they are outside. Certain dogs are more susceptible to heat stroke, such as those with thick fur, short noses, or medical conditions. Even active and playful dogs should be carefully watched for signs of heat stroke, particularly on hot and humid days.

What are the symptoms of dog heat stroke?

The most telling symptom of heat stroke in dogs is excessive panting. Other symptoms may include signs of discomfort such as drooling, reddened gums, vomiting, diarrhea, mental dullness or loss of consciousness, uncoordinated movement, and collapse. 

Heat stroke in dogs can indicate a serious medical problem and cause unseen problems, such as swelling of the brain, kidney failure, intestinal bleeding, and abnormal clotting of blood. For this reason, immediate veterinary care is highly recommended. 

What should I do if I think my dog has heat stroke?

If your pet needs urgent medical attention, it's important to contact your veterinarian or the nearest emergency animal hospital right away. While traveling to the vet, make sure to keep the windows open and the air conditioner running for maximum comfort.

Until you can get to the veterinarian, be sure to:

  • Remove the dog from the hot environment immediately.
  • Do not give the dog aspirin to lower its temperature, which can lead to other problems.
  • Let your dog drink as much cool water as they want without forcing them to drink.
  • Cool your dog off with cold water by placing a soaked towel on their back.

How will the veterinarian treat my dog's heat stroke?

If your dog is suffering from heatstroke, treatment will involve administering intravenous fluids and minerals to replace lost fluids. Your veterinarian will also carefully monitor your dog for any secondary complications, such as kidney failure, neurologic symptoms, abnormal clotting, changes in blood pressure, and electrolyte abnormalities.

How can I prevent my dog from developing heat stroke?

As a responsible pet owner, it's crucial to keep an eye on the weather conditions and take necessary steps to prevent heat stroke for your furry friend, particularly during hot and humid weather.

When outside, ensure that your dog has access to adequate shade and water in a well-ventilated area. During car journeys, make sure your dog is in a crate with proper ventilation, and never leave them in a car with closed windows.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

If your dog is showing any signs of heat stroke, contact our Mahopac emergency veterinary hospital right away.

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Mahopac Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Mahopac companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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