Prevent, Detect, and Treat Heat Exhaustion in Canines

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Prevent, Detect, and Treat Heat Exhaustion in Canines

What is Heat Exhaustion?

Hyperthermia aka heat stroke or heat exhaustion is when your dog’s body temperature reaches a temperature that is unhealthy. Dogs cannot accept heat the way human bodies can. Heat exhaustion often occurs during the summer months as heat rises. Here are a few ways to prevent, detect, and treat heat exhaustion.

Animals Prone to Heat Exhaustion

  1. Animals with thick coats/fur
  2. Older or younger dogs
  3. Overweight
  4. Brachycephalic (short-nosed) breeds
  5. Dogs with medical disorders

Signs of Heat Exhaustion

  1. Excessive panting/breathing
  2. Drooling
  3. Thirst
  4. Fever
  5. Rapid pulse
  6. Warm to touch
  7. Bright red, gray, purple, or bluish gums. 
  8. Dizziness
  9. Vomiting and diarrhea
  10. Restlessness
  11. Muscle tremors

How to Prevention

  1. Keep your house cool. You want your pet’s environment as cool as possible.
  2. Play in shaded and cool areas outside. Try to have playtime with your dog during hours that are often cool, such as the early morning or late evening during sunset hours.
  3. Always keep fresh cool water for your pet at all times. Hydration is key.
  4. Don’t leave your pet in a hot parked car. Temperature tends to rise in hot environments.
  5. Avoid excessive exercise, especially in hot areas.
  6. Avoid hot concrete, sand, and other hot surfaces.

How to Treat Heat Exhaustion

  1. Take your pet to a cooler area.
  2. Monitor temperature with a thermometer, if you have one.
  3. Wet pet with cool water. NO cold water, you do not want to shock your pet! Also do not lay towels or rags n your dog as this will trap heat from escaping.
  4. Provide pet with small amounts of cool water. NO cold water and NO ice water.
  5. Use a fan to help cool off.
  6. Take your pet to the veterinarian immediately. Even if your dog seems to be recovering it is still important to have your pet checked and monitored.

For more information:

  1. https://www.noahsarkvet.com/11-symptoms-of-heat-exhaustion-in-dogs
  2. https://www.rspcapetinsurance.org.au/pet-care/health/heatstroke-hyperthermia https://www.vets-now.com/pet-care-advice/hyperthermia-in-cats
  3. https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/heat-stroke-in-dogs
  4. https://www.akcchf.org/canine-health/your-dogs-health/caring-for-your-dog/heat-stroke-and-heat-exhaustion.html
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