Heatstroke is a very serious condition for humans and animals. It is usually due to prolonged exposure to hot temperatures, lack of hydration, and can leave some fighting for their lives.
Heatstroke is more common in dogs than we might realize. Often hearing about incidents happening when dogs are left in cars, it is important for us to realize that we must prevent this from happening at all costs! The American Kennel Club refers says that body temperatures above 105 degrees Fahrenheit are dangerous and indicative of heatstroke.
It is also said that it is more likely to occur in long-haired dogs with short noses but can happen to any four-legged friend. As scary as it is, there are signs that your dog might be suffering from heatstroke for which you can keep an eye out. These include excessive panting, salivation, a runny tummy, vomiting, poor coordination, weakness or listlessness, shaking, collapsing, and possible seizures. Now, what should you do if you suspect your dog may be suffering from heatstroke? Here are some useful tips:
- Cool your dog down with cold water (not ice water!): this can be done with a hose or wet towel. Make sure it is done with care!
- Temperature check: you can use a rectal thermometer to check their temperature. Once it has dropped below 103 degrees Fahrenheit, you can stop the cooling process. A dog’s normal temperature is around 101,5 degrees Fahrenheit
- Offer your canine companion water to drink: do this, but do not force them to drink it
It is very important to remove them from the heat source into a cool area before starting treatment! If your dog’s temperature is raging above 103 degrees Fahrenheit, it is probably most advisable to take them to their vet. Rather safe than sorry!
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