What to do If Your Dog Has a Heatstroke this Summer

Your dog isn’t as efficient at releasing heat as you are; their body is designed to conserve heat rather than release it, so they tend to heat up much faster than you. Heat stroke in dogs is an extremely serious condition and the onset may be sudden, which can quickly escalate into an emergency situation. Knowing the symptoms of heat exhaustion in dogs and the signs of heat stroke in dogs may be vital to saving your pet’s life.

Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke in Dogs

Heat exhaustion occurs when there is an elevation in your dog’s body temperature that is above the typically accepted normal range. Although the normal range for dogs may slightly vary, in the majority of situations, a temperature above 103 degrees °F is abnormal. Heat stroke is a severe form of heat exhaustion that occurs when your dog’s heat dissipating mechanisms cannot accommodate the excessive external heat, usually associated with temperatures of 106 degrees °F or higher. A heat stroke can lead to several organ dysfunctions.

Signs of Heatstroke in Dogs

Dogs go through the same stages of heat-related illnesses as humans, which generally starts with heat cramps, then heat exhaustion and finally heat stroke. It is extremely important to be aware of these symptoms, especially if your dog is outside or in a hot car. Symptoms of heat stroke in dogs often include:

  • Incessant restlessness and panting
  • Drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Bluish, red or gray gums
  • Seizures
  • Weakness and difficulty walking
  • Bloody diarrhea

If you suspect your dog is suffering from heat stroke, it is critical that you cool them down, but too much cooling may make things worse. The most important thing to do if your pet is having heat stroke is taken them to an emergency vet immediately. In the meantime, it is important to get the dog out of the sun and into an air-conditioned house or vehicle. If taking them in the house, lay your dog on a cool surface and take a rectal temperature. Place cool, wet towels on the back of the neck, the groin area, and the armpits and take them to the vet immediately.

Contact Your St Johns or  Jacksonville Pet Hospital Right Away!

If you suspect your dog is suffering from heat exhaustion or heat stroke, contact Bluestar Pet Hospital immediately. Call (904) 720-4275 to reach our St. Johns location or (904) 720-4272 for Jacksonville