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Know the Danger Signs of Heat Stroke in Dogs
Consider if you are uncomfortable in the heat that your pet is also. If pets are kept outdoors, owners should be aware of the dangers of high heat during the hot summer months and know the symptoms of heat stroke in dogs.
Dogs are susceptible to overheating but some more than others which include Bulldogs and Pugs, overweight dogs, older dogs, puppies, thicker haired dogs, dogs with respiratory disease or hormonal problems.
A dog’s normal cooling process is by evaporation through panting and sweating through the pads on their feet. But when your dog becomes overheated, panting, which is an early sign of heat exhaustion, may not be effective. Overheating will cause your dog to pant more rapidly and excessively and appear disoriented. Other symptoms of heat stroke in dogs to watch out for from mild to severe are: unusual whining, barking, restlessness, agitation, lethargy, dry tacky or red gums, saliva is thick or frothing, excessive drooling, vomiting and diarrhea (associated w/ dehydration and loss of electrolytes), uncontrollable muscle spasms or tremors, seizures, labored breathing, elevated heart rate, coma.
A dog’s normal body temperature is between 100.5 to 102.5 degrees. Dogs can withstand a raised body temperature between 107 to 108 but only for a short period of time before suffering severe consequences including collapsing, convulsing or death. Heat stroke usually occurs at a temperature of 104 F and over. If your dog is showing signs of heat stroke, start cooling your dog down and monitor his rectal temperature every 10 minutes until the rectal temperature falls below 103°F (39°C)IMPORTANT:
If you suspect your pet has symptoms of heat stroke, cool your pet down immediately with cool (not cold) water for up to two minutes and contact your Veterinarian. (Caution: Over-cooling your pet could cause Hypothermia and shock.)
Avoiding Heat Stroke in Dogs
♦ Provide your pet outdoors with either a shelter, shade, air conditioned dog house
, a ventilated dog house with door flaps tied back, a cooling fan or your own dog air conditioner
♦ Provide access to cool drinking water in a non-metallic bowl.
♦ Provide a wading pool filled with water to help keep his body temperature lowered on very hot
♦ You can cool your pet down safely and gradually with an electric fan, or by wetting his paws
& applying a cold pack to his groin area in two minute intervals.
♦ Don't confine your pet on concrete or asphalt surfaces outdoors in extremely warm weather.
♦ Keep your pet's hair trimmed short during warm months.
♦ Avoid heavy playing and strenuous exercising in hot, humid weather. Walk your dog in early
morning or evening.
♦ Avoid leaving your dog alone in a car more than 15 minutes on hot days. (PETA states that it takes 15 minutes for a pet to die when the car is parked in the sun on a 78-degree day or hotter.)
Summer time can be a happy time for you and your pet by taking a few safety precautions in warm weather.