Summer is the perfect time to take nice walks with your dog. However, you have to be careful when the thermometer climbs, the animal is particularly sensitive to high temperatures and may suffer from heatstroke.
Dog: how to recognize heat stroke?
A dog’s body temperature varies between 38 and 39.5 degrees. We are talking about heat stroke orextreme hyperthermia when she is above 40 or 41 degrees.
Doggies are more sensitive than humans to heat, because they sweat little. Indeed, they have few sweat glands. Their breathing is thus the only element that allows them to regulate their body temperature.
“The short-nosed breeds (Brachycephalians like Bulldogs, Pugs, Boxers, Editor’s note) are even more vulnerable to heat, as their mouths are generally too small to provide effective heat relief when panting,” warns Mark Freeman, veterinarian and assistant professor community practice clinic at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech in a July 17, 2022 statement.
Other elements that can promote discomfort in summer are:
- a long and dense coat which stores heat;
- some diseases : obesity, tracheal collapse or even seizures are known to increase the risk of heat stroke;
- I’age : old animals often have a respiratory or cardiac pathology favoring heatstroke.
“Under no circumstances should you leave your pet in the car on a hot day, even if the windows are cracked. Just a few minutes can turn into a deadly situation“, warns the American veterinarian.
The Medisite editorial staff details in pictures the warning signs of heatstroke
The first sign of heat stroke to appear in dogs is a significant increase in respiratory rate.
You have to help your pet cool off. Place it in the shade, give it a drink. You can also put him in front of a fan or help him cool down by passing wet towels over his body.
The dog’s gums changed color. They go from pink to dark red, even purple.
Sudden exhaustion is the first warning sign of heatstroke in dogs.
If heat stroke is left untreated and worsens, the dog may suffer from digestive upset such as vomiting or diarrhea.
If the heat stroke is really severe, the dog develops neurological disorders like seizures.