Heatstroke can be fatal. It doesn’t have to be the middle of summer for your dog to get heatstroke, it can happen in a matter of minutes in a car on a spring day too.
Heatstroke can and DOES kill. Please be aware of all the signs of heatstroke.
Signs of heat-stroke:
- Panting excessively
- Anxious behaviour
- Very red gums turning blue in the latter stages of heatstroke
- Very rapid heart rate
- In cases of severe heat-stroke the dog can collapse, have convulsions, go into shock and die.
If your dog has heat-stroke you need to:
- Take the dog out of the hot environment. Get it into a cool shaded spot.
- Reduce body temperature immediately
- Cool your dog with tepid (NOT COLD) water using either a shower spray or similar. Then douse the dog in cool water, particularly the head and neck or cover your dog with wet sheets or light towels. This process needs to be slow and steady. You do not want to cool your dog too quickly. Use a fan to increase air flow over the dog as this help cooling.
- Let your dog to drink as much cool water as he/she wants. Little and often. Adding a pinch of salt to the water is good if possible.
- Continue to douse the dog in cold water until his/her breathing starts to settle
- Seek veterinary attention as soon as is safe to do so- ideally if your dog has severe heatstroke you should phone the vet at the same time that you are doing the above.