Signs of heatstroke in dogs

Each year, many dogs suffer from heat stroke which is characterized by a body temperature of 105 - 100 degrees F.


When your dog suffers from a sudden heatstroke

it can be difficult to figure out exactly what is wrong because your dog is unable to communicate effectively with you.  Knowing the signs and symptoms of specific problems can help you when consulting with your dog’s veterinarian.  One of the most common problems with dogs during the summer is heatstroke.  Here are things to watch out for with your dog.

The most important thing to remember in the hot summer months is that you have to watch out for your dog to help avoid problems.  Making sure your dog has plenty to drink is important as well as keeping your dog out of the sun for long periods of time.  Also, if they must be outside, make sure that they have access to shady areas and plenty of water available to them.

A dog’s temperature is normally between 101 and 102 degrees Fahrenheit.  A rise of a mere 3 degrees can be fatal for a dog.  From here, the effects just begin to spiral out of control.  The rise in temperature creates a higher need for oxygen which the dog needs to pant.   The dog can not keep up with the demand and thus, the temperature continues to rise.

At 108 degrees, the dog’s body begins to shut down.  His or her major organs begin to break down on a cellular level and continue to do so at an alarming rate.  Even immediate care can leave the dog with permanent internal damage.  This is why it is so important to keep a close eye on your dog not only during hot weather but any time he or she is in a small confined space for a period of time.

Knowing what to watch for can be a big key to helping your dog through this.  If the temperature rise is caught before it reaches the 108-degree mark, your dog can be saved from permanent damage.  These are all things that you should watch for.

Rapid breathing and a rapid heart rate can indicate that your dog is headed into the trouble zone.  These are caused by the increased need for oxygen.  A dry nose and mouth can also be signs of trouble.  Some dogs will get a dry nose just from sleeping, but if their mouth is dry, and then there is trouble.  You should also check the dog’s gums.  If they have gone from their normal color to a dull grayish-pink or red, then your dog is experiencing heatstroke.

If any of these signs are present, you should get your dog to the veterinarian immediately.  Any signs of heatstroke mean you are fighting for your dog’s life.  These initial signs can quickly be followed by more extreme signs that usually indicate that you are too late.  These signs include collapse, seizure, coma, or even death.

Keeping track of how your dog is feeling is an important job for any pet owner.  Knowing the signs to watch for and how to prevent something extreme like heat stroke from affecting your dog is also important.