How Do I Know if my Pet has Heat Stroke?

Hot Diggity Dog! With summer approaching, many pet owners are ready to head outdoors with their pet. But your pet may not be able to beat the heat. Heat Stroke can be a life threating condition; being able to recognize the signs of heat stroke and how to prevent it can keep your pet cool through the dog days of summer.

What is Heat Stroke?

Unlike humans, dogs eliminate heat through panting. Heat stroke (heat stress or heat exhaustion) is a life threatening condition that occurs when your pet’s body temperature rises above the normal range of 102.5F. Heat Stroke can occur in any hot environment! It can also develop during periods of high humidity or if your pet does not take enough breaks or have access to warm on warm days.

Dogs that enjoy being outside and exercise should be monitored for signs of Heat Stroke. Some dogs are more prone to developing Heat Stroke than others. Dogs with short noses such as Pugs, Boson Terriers, and Bull Dogs, are more at risk of developing Heat Stroke. Young, elderly, overweight, and pets with heart and lung disease are also at risk as well.

What are the signs of Heat Stroke?

Signs of overheating can include:

  • Excessive panting/ drooling
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Vomiting/ Diarrhea
  • Weakness
  • Incoordination or stumbling
  • Sudden collapse

Call Petplex Animal Hospital 740-929-3300 or your veterinarian immediately if your pet displays any of these signs. Once your pet begins to overheat, Heat Stroke can progresses quickly!

What should I do if my pet shows signs of Heat Stroke?

Call Petplex Animal Hospital 740-929-3300 or your veterinarian immediately or the nearest emergency animal hospital! Until you can get to a veterinarian, be sure to:

  • Remove the pet from the hot environment immediately
  • Let your pet drink water without forcing them to drink
  • Cool your pet off  by spraying COOL water on them and placing them in front of a fan
  • DO NOT give your pet any over the counter medications (as this could lead to other problems)!

While transporting your pet, travel with the windows open and the air conditioner on. It is important to cool your pet slowly and gradually. DO NOT place the pet in cold water! This can cause dangerous blood pressure changes!

What can I do to prevent Heat Stroke?

Heat Stroke can be life threatening, so closely monitoring your pet while outdoors is essential! Heat Stroke is possible any time the temperature is above 80 degrees or humidity is high.

Preventions methods include:

  • ALWAYS supervising your pet while they are outside on hot days
  • Keep your pet indoors with air conditioning while you are away
  • While outside, take frequent breaks and ensure your pet has access to water and shade
  •  Walking your pet in the early morning or later evening when temperatures are not at dangerous levels

As a pet owner, it is important to be aware of the signs of Heat Stroke and to take appropriate measures to prevent it, especially during hot and humid conditions.