Heatstroke in dogs!



At last we have the arrival of the sun and much warmer weather. In the heat, humans tend to wear lighter or fewer items of clothing. Spare a thought for your canine friend who wears a permanent fur coat! In the warmer weather dogs can overheat and become very ill with Heatstroke.


WHAT IS HEATSTROKE?

Heatstroke or nonpyrogenic hyperthermia ( a temperature not caused by a fever) occurs when dogs can no longer self – regulate and keep their body temperature at a normal level. This can occur in dogs which are completely healthy.

A dogs fur coat is brilliant at keeping a dog warm in the colder weather but in the warmer months it can make a dog very uncomfortable.

Dogs can only sweat through their paws and try to eliminate heat by panting. Unfortunately some dogs are more prone to Heatstroke than others, for example, dogs which are overweight, older/younger dogs, short nosed dogs (brachycephalic) and any suffering from any medical conditions. These dogs particularly should be monitored closely in the heat.



CAUSES OF HEATSTROKE

  • Hot/Humid weather

  • Left in a hot vehicle

  • No access to shade

  • No access to water

  • Poor ventilation

  • Being exercised in the heat

  • Inadequate cooling off after exercise

  • Being kept near areas which reflect the heat


SYMPTOMS OF HEATSTROKE

  • Excessive panting

  • Body temperature of 40oc plus

  • Rapid pulse/heartbeat

  • Dehydration

  • Lethargic

  • Uncoordinated

  • Dark tongue/gums

  • Drooling ( sticky/thick salvia)

  • Vomiting

  • Little or no weeing

  • Signs of discomfort

  • The dog may also suffer from, seizures, muscle tremors and eventually unconsciousness


HOW TO TREAT HEATSTROKE

  • Remove the dog from the heat source immediately and call a vet

  • Apply cool (not cold) water to the dogs paws, chest and mouth area. Wetting a towel/blanket and allowing the dog to sit or lay on it is better than covering a dog with a wet towel or blanket as this may eventually dry out and trap heat.

  • Placing the dog in front of a fan can help as long as this isn’t put on full speed!

  • Allow the dog to drink small amounts of cool water

  • Transport to a vet asap

  • Make sure the vehicle you are travelling in isn’t too hot potentially raising the dogs temperature again

  • Remember: PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE


TOP TIPS TO KEEP YOUR DOG COOL IN THE WARMER WEATHER

  • Fill a Kong and put this in the freezer for a while, this will definitely be a cool treat!

  • Add ice cubes to drinking water

  • Provide plenty of shade if outdoors even in your own garden

  • Beware, if your dog lives outdoors, dog kennels can become a heat trap

  • Provide access to water at all times

  • Only walk your dog at the beginning  and end of the day when it is cooler

  • Remember the pavement rule: if you place the back of your hand on the tarmac for 5 seconds and it is too hot for you then it is too hot for your dog

  • A small paddling pool can provide great fun for your dog as well as keeping him or her cool

  • Fruits and vegetables can make great healthy and inexpensive treats for your dog in the warmer weather

  • Try the following:

  • Carrots – contains vitamins A,C, potassium and fibre. Washed. Frozen whole carrots are great for your dogs to chew on and help cool them down.  These are also great for teething puppies.

  • Apples – a healthy treat containing many anti – oxidants and fibre. Core the apple and remove the stem and pips, slice then freeze.

  • Bananas – contains vitamins, minerals and fibre. Peel, slice and freeze.


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Allwinds Dog First Aid Ltd

5 Woodcroft Meadows

Bishopswood, Nr Chard, TA20 3HA

Incorporated Companies House

Crown Way Cardiff CF14 3UZ

Reg number 11455371

© Allwinds Ltd 2020