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6 Warning Signs To Watch For Heatstroke In Your Dog

The summer heat of the Okanagan has finally arrived. As we feel the heat climb outdoors, consider what it must feel like to continuously wear a fur covering. You may not know this, our furry friends are also susceptible to heat stroke.

One prime example is sitting in a hot vehicle with the windows rolled up shut. The temperature is registering at 30 degrees Celsius. The sun’s rays when fully exposed on your vehicle can reach upwards of 40 plus degrees. Consider what it must feel like wearing a fur coat. Trapped and suffocating in a hot vehicle is a recipe for heat stroke and hyperthermia.

Did you know certain types of dogs are at a higher risk factor than others? Especially dogs suffer from obesity or undetected disease will lower the tolerance level in a hot vehicle. Breeds at greater risk of heat stroke include short-nosed breeds such as pugs, French bulldogs, Boston terriers, boxers, and mastiffs. Long thick coats such as husky and malamute dogs are also susceptible.

An animal body temperature can increase in conditions of extreme warm and humid weather. Pay attention to these 6 signs to ensure your pet is not suffering from life threatening injuries of hyperthermia or heat stroke.

What to do when your dog is overheating

  1. Heat stroke can happen when temperatures are above 15 degree Celsius. Exercising or running in the sun without proper shade is putting your pet in danger. Make sure there is adequate shade for your pet when outdoors.
  2. Do not leave your pet in the car when the temperature outside is hot and humid. When the car is locked and shut tight the temperature inside a vehicle increases by 10-15 degree Celsius within a 15-20 minute timeframe.
  3. Humans sweat, dogs pant to regulate body temperature. Humans cool down by perspiring but dogs are not able to draw out heat in the same way. They cool down by panting. If you notice your dog panting uncontrollably, take them to a cool place.
  4. Watch for signs your dog seems agitated and excessively pant. In extreme cases to watch for your dog is secreting large amounts of saliva, vomit or diarrhea.
  5. In severe cases your pet may look as though it is staggering on its feet. A sign like this your dog maybe collapsing from heat exposure.
  6. Check your dog’s gums are normal in appearance. In severe heat stress the gums may turn blue or purple or bright red in colour.

If you witness any of these signs your dog might be suffering from heat stroke. Immediate action needs to take place by removing your dog out of the environment especially direct sunlight. Take your pet to the nearest Kelowna vet clinics. Heat stroke brought on by extreme heat is potentially fatal to your pet and it is vital for a  veterinarian to attend and stabilize your dog. With no veterinary clinic care, the chances of recovery is limited to poor.

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