Heat Stroke in Dogs: Everything You Need to Know

Dogs, unlike humans, cannot get sweating when they get hot. Instead, they eliminate heat from their bodies by panting. When panting is not enough to eliminate heat from their bodies, their body temperature will be rising and as a result, they might experience heat stroke. Heat stroke can be fatal to dogs and shouldn’t be underestimated.

If you see your dog experiencing any signs of heat stroke, the first thing you can do is move them to a cool place and bring it to the vet immediately. Check the ways to keep your dog cool when in hot weather.

Let’s understand everything you need to know about heat stroke in dogs, including the causes, symptoms and treatment. As a dog owner, it is important for you to be knowledgeable about this. The earlier you notice about the symptoms, the earlier you can save your dogs from death.

Causes of Heat Stroke in Dogs

Heat stroke is a term that means “elevated body temperature”. If a dog’s body temperature is above 39.4 Celsius degree, then it is considered as abnormal or hyperthermic. If it is above 41 Celsius degree, then it might indicate heat stroke.

Heat stroke happens to dogs when their body is exposed too much to heat. The most common cause of heat stroke is their owners’ careless actions, for example, leaving their dogs inside the car or forgetting to give them water or shade while they are outdoors. Make sure you pay attention to things you should do to keep your dog safe playing outdoors.

Some dogs are more prone to heat stroke. Dogs that have thick fur, short nose and suffer from serious medical conditions are more prone to heat stroke.

That’s why if you have these kinds of dogs, they should be watched carefully. If you also have dogs that like to exercise a lot, they should be monitored for symptoms of heat stroke, especially during hot and humid days.

Symptoms of Heat Stroke

This is the most important part. Symptoms of heat stroke will make you aware of your dogs’ conditions. Excessive panting is the most common symptom of heat stroke in dogs.

There are some more other symptoms of heat stroke, such as drooling, reddened gums, diarrhea, mental dullness or loss of consciousness, collapse and vomiting.

Serious medical problems can also be indicated by heat stroke in dogs. It also can cause some unseen problems, such as brain swelling, kidney failure, bleeding intestines, and also abnormal clotting of blood.

Make sure you also know these unknown but deadly dog diseases every dog owner should know. That’s why heat stroke in dogs cannot be underestimated. If you see any of these symptoms, please bring your dog to your vet immediately as it can save their life.

Here are some other signs of heat stroke in dogs:

  • barking, whining or signs of agitation
  • excessive thirst
  • glassy eyes
  • elevated body temperature above 40 Celsius degree
  • increased pulse or heart beat
  • seizures
  • staggering, collapse or weakness

First Aids You Can do to Treat Heat Stroke in Dogs

Don’t get panic once you discover any symptoms of heat stroke in dogs. You can do some things as first aids when you notice heat stroke in dogs.

  • move the dog from the hot environment immediately
  • move your dog to the cooler place
  • never give any aspirin to lower your dog’s body temperature
  • let your dog drink as much cool water as they can, however, never force them to drink
  • soak towel in cold water and place it on your dog’s back or wrap him with the cold towel

The treatment does not stop there. Once your dog is cool, you can take him to the nearest vet to prevent any unexpected condition.

Some Ways to Prevent Heat Stroke in Dogs

You surely don’t want your dog to have heat stroke again in the future as it might be fatal for him. To prevent your dog from getting heat stroke (again), you can do these following things.

Be aware of your dog’s surrounding environment. Make sure you are aware of the temperature outside, and do not let your dog to stay outdoors for a long time when the temperature is high.

When your dog is outdoors, make sure it has access to plenty of water and shade so he is not exposed too much to heat outside.

This is the most important one, especially for you who love to bring your dog with car. Do not ever leave your dog inside the car for a long time, specifically with the closed windows.

There are some other tips on treating dogs, specifically when they have some serious diseases, such as pancreatitis or diabetes. If you want to know some treatment of diabetic dog, you can learn to manage diet for your diabetic dog. If your dog suffers from pancreatitis, you can also learn everything about clinical signs of pancreatitis in dogs.