Detect and Prevent Heatstroke in Your Dog
Detect and Prevent Heatstroke in Your Dog
Protect your dog from sunstroke or heatstroke in the summer. Here we will tell you how to prevent your dog from overheating and how to act in an emergency.
Symptoms and First Aid
In fact, cars parked in the sun can quickly overheat and become a deadly trap for bpth humans and animals. However, many dogs die each year because their owners underestimate this danger in cars. Can you leave your dog in the car? What is heatstroke and what to do if you suspect your dog has heatstroke?
What is Heatstroke in a Dog?
Dogs, unlike many other animals, have almost no sweat glands. The few sweat glands they have are located in the nose and paw areas. Therefore, dogs regulate their body temperature with their breathing. They provide some cooling with their tongues and regulate their normal body temperature around 38°C to 39°C. This heat balancing process consumes a lot of energy and primarily water, so dogs should drink water constantly.
When Their Body Temperature Is Between 41°C and 43°C It has Become Life-threatening For The Dog
It can be difficult to sufficiently cool a dog's body when the temperature is already around 30°C outside. Short-nosed or very thick-haired breeds are particularly vulnerable to heat. Even very intense activities can be a problem for the dog (heatstroke from vigorous exercise). If the dog's self-cooling is insufficient during the heat and its body temperature rises, the brain expands as a result. Since the skull bone does not allow temperature exchange, the pressure on the brain increases. In addition to pain, there are other injuries: The dog becomes apathetic, stumbles and soon can no longer stand. Heatstroke follows heat exhaustion and at worst multiple organ failure. From a temperature of about 42°C, the dog's body begins to destroy its own protein. This can have fatal consequences.
How to Detect Heatstroke or Sunstroke?
The classic symptoms of heatstroke are as follows:
- Sharp breathing
- Increased salivation if present
- A tense neck
- Sticking out tongue
- Warm and red in-ear
- Dry, very reddened mucous membranes
- Rapid and short breathing
- Coordination disorders
- Heart palpitations
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Cardiac arrhythmias
This situation is more than worrying on its own. There is an acute danger to life. First aid measures should be initiated immediately and a veterinarian should be consulted. The next circulatory collapse, in the worst case, leads to the death of the dog: due to lack of oxygen, the dog's mucous membranes become pale and partially bluish. The dog has tremors and cramps. The result is unconsciousness, coma, and respiratory arrest.
Differences Between Sunstroke and Heatstroke
|Regional overheating of the brain (Head, Neck)||Overheating of the whole body|
|Danger from direct sunlight||Danger from ambient temperature, no direct sun required|
|The temperature may be in the acceptable range||The ambient temperature is too high|
|Letting the dog walk under the scorching sun||Leaving the dog in the car on a hot day|
First Aid Recommendations for Heatstroke in a Dog
If you suspect heatstroke in your dog, it is very important to stay calm. If necessary, you should have a calming effect on both the dog and other people, such as the owner. Immediately take the dog to a shaded area and let him cool down slowly. Important: Keep the dog on the leash. The dog in shock may run away because he is in a dazed state. First, cool the paws, and then the body by wiping it with a damp cloth or wetting it with a garden hose. Put water in front of him, but do not force him to drink too much water. The dog should not consume too much cold water too quickly. Because of the sudden cold from the water, blood vessels constrict and symptoms may worsen. The temperature drop should not be sudden. Use warm water instead of ice water.
Let the Dog Cool Down Slowly!
Wet towels heat up quickly and need to be changed constantly. Heatstroke or circulatory shock is a medical emergency that should always be treated promptly. Immediately transport the dog to the vet in a cool car. In the meantime, call the veterinarian in advance so that the dog can be prepared for prompt treatment. At the vet, your dog will be given all necessary infusions and emergency medications. Is the ER on its way? Then check if the airways are free and place the dog in a stable side-lying position.