Heatstroke – early warning signs
Heatstroke can be fatal. Do everything you can to prevent it.
Some dogs are more prone to heatstroke. For example, dogs with short snouts, fatter or heavily muscled dogs and long-haired breeds, as well as very old or very young dogs. Dogs with certain diseases are more prone to heatstroke, as are dogs on certain medication.
If dogs are unable to reduce their body temperature, they will develop heatstroke. There are some signs to look for:
•A rapid pulse
•Very red gums/tongue
•Lack of coordination
•Reluctance or inability to rise after collapsing
•Loss of consciousness in extreme circumstances
Heatstroke – first aid
If your dog shows any symptoms of heatstroke, move him/her to a shaded, cool area and ring your vet for advice immediately.
Heatstroke can be fatal and should always be treated as an emergency.
Dogs suffering from heatstroke urgently need to have their body temperature gradually lowered:
•Immediately douse your dog with cool (not cold) water, to avoid shock – you could put your dog in a shower and run cool water over him/her, or use a spray filled with cool water and place your dog in the breeze of a fan.
•Let your dog drink small amounts of cool water.
•Continue to douse your dog with cool water until his/her breathing starts to settle – never cool your dog so much that he/she begins to shiver.
Once you have cooled your dog down you should take him/her straight to the veterinary surgery.