Heat stroke in dogs

Heat stroke in dogs

Beware, heat stroke in dogs can be fatal. And we are not talking about hyperthermia due to a health problem or any other disease. Rather, we are talking about a rapid and consequent rise in his body temperature.

You should know that the dog’s body heats up quickly. With a normal body temperature of 38.5°C, since he doesn’t sweat, he doesn’t have the ability to regulate his body temperature when needed. This is why this figure can rise very quickly when exposed to heat, stress or intense physical activity.

Unfortunately, beyond 41°C, even without any particular health problem, your companion’s vital prognosis is at risk. This is why the slightest sign of hyperthermia should alert you.

How to recognize a heat stroke? How to react in case of heat stroke? How to prevent and avoid it? Find out everything you need to know about heat stroke in dogs.

1- Heat stroke in dogs: what is it ?

Heat stroke in dogs is still very little known, and yet it is a deadly phenomenon. It is called a phenomenon because it is not a disease and is to be differentiated from “fever” which, in medical terms, indicates explosions of red blood cells in large quantities – an infection – in the body.

Heatstroke in dogs occurs without any particular health problem, and without the presence of a possible infection.

2- Causes of heat stroke in dogs

Heat stroke in dogs is often caused by external circumstances:

* Prolonged exposure to heat (the sun)
* Prolonged exposure to a heat source in a small space (car)
* Intense physical and muscular activity

Good to know: heat stroke caused by being trapped in a car is the most frequent and deadly case. You should know that the interior of a car is a real furnace during the day, especially during hot weather. When you lock your dog inside, even with the windows ajar, you expose him to temperatures that can easily reach 80°C if the outside temperature is 20°C. And in these conditions, your pet can die in less than half an hour.

3- Dogs most likely to suffer from heat stroke

Some dogs – because of their physiology – are obviously more sensitive to heat than others. But since all canines have a very limited number of sweat glands, they are all susceptible to heat stroke.

Note, however, that older and overweight dogs may be more susceptible than others and may succumb to heat much more quickly than others. So can dogs with heart problems, those with respiratory problems and of course, puppies.

4- Consequences of heat stroke in dogs

An increase in body temperature automatically leads to a dilation of the blood vessels and an increase in the respiratory rate of the dog. This is how the dog’s body fights to regulate its temperature.

However, when the heat is too great, it leads to a significant increase in heart rate, blood clotting disorders, deterioration of muscle fibers, kidney failure, as well as cerebral co-management. It is the latter that – if left untreated – can lead to coma and death.

5- Symptoms of heat stroke in dogs

Here are the signs that will help you recognize heat stroke in dogs:

* Gasping and abnormal salivation due to increased respiratory rate.
* An abnormal gait, even staggering, due to great fatigue or extreme weakness.
* Behavioral problems (sometimes agitated, sometimes depressed and tired).
* Sudden loss of consciousness for no apparent reason.
* Convulsions.

6- Heat stroke in dogs: what to do

Never forget that above 40.5°C, your dog can succumb in record time. The first thing to do, as soon as you recognize the symptoms of a heat stroke, is to run to the veterinarian. You can also do a few things to lower the temperature at home until you can get away.

7- What to do in case of heat stroke in dogs

If you can’t go to the vet right away, start by taking your dog’s temperature using a rectal thermometer. If your dog’s temperature is over 40.5°C, you can use these tips to bring the temperature down:

* Give him cool water to combat dehydration;
* Wet a towel and apply it all over his body;
* Place him in a cool, airy place.
* Give him a shower with cool water.

On the road, while you take him to the vet, always give him something to drink, and leave the windows wide open to let the fresh air in. Turn on the air conditioning if necessary.

8- What not to do in case of heat stroke

You’ll probably be tempted to put your dog directly into cold water, but that’s exactly what you shouldn’t do. Giving your dog a cold shower will cause a violent thermal shock, which will have the opposite effect: the blood vessels will dilate even more, and the body will heat up even more.

As described above, you should proceed carefully and gradually. Let the animal’s body get used to the cold by covering it with the wet towel. Wait 5 to 10 minutes before spraying him with a cool water mist.

9- How to avoid heat stroke in dogs ?

The best way to prevent your dog from getting heatstroke is to protect him from the heat. During the summer, for example, avoid walking your dog during the hottest hours of the day. Instead, take your dog for walks in the morning when it is cool or in the afternoon when the sun is not shining.

Also during the summer months, don’t let your dog engage in strenuous physical activity.

During car trips, turn on the air conditioning and keep the windows open to ensure constant ventilation. For long trips, don’t hesitate to take short breaks to allow your dog to breathe normally and stretch a little. Also, bring water with you and give him a drink regularly.

And whatever the circumstances, absolutely avoid leaving your dog in the car or in the trunk of the c

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