Thursday 11th Jul, 2019

Heatstroke in Dogs

Keep your dog safe as the temperature rises.

It’s Summer! Although we don’t get glorious, sunny weather all Summer long here in Glasgow, we do have the odd day or two where the temperature rises!

We know that it is very tempting to go out on long walks and spend hours outside given how little we see the sun. However, it is very important that you are aware of the dangers of heatstroke to your dog as heatstroke can develop very quickly and is often fatal.

IT IS IMPORANT THAT YOU PHONE A VET IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOUR DOG MAY HAVE HEATSTROKE 0141 649 4949


Early Signs of Heatstroke in Dogs

Heatstroke can come on rapidly and is an emergency that requires immediate treatment. It is important that you can recognise the symptoms to look out for.

Detecting heatstroke quickly and in its early stages is essential to your dog’s recovery.

Signs to look out for:

  • Heavy and fast panting
  • Restlessness (barking, whinging or signs of agitation)
  • Excessive drooling
  • Excessive thirst
  • Lack of coordination (staggering, weakness or collapse)
  • Increased pulse and heartbeat
  • Glassy eyes
  • Dark-coloured gums or tongue
  • Increased body temperature of 40°C
  • Seizures
  • Unconsciousness

It may be difficult to detect the early signs of heatstroke which is why we recommend learning to take your dog’s temperature. This can be done using an ear or rectal thermometer.


How hot is “too hot”?

Dogs only have sweat glands around their noses and in their feet which means they are less efficient than humans at cooling themselves down.

Dogs are generally safe to go outside to exercise as for moderate periods of time in temperatures up to 20°C. However, it is advised that owners keep an eye on large, overweight dogs and flat-faced breeds when the temperature reaches around 16°C.

At 20°C, your dog may be at risk if exercised too rigorously or for a prolonged period. When the temperate gets up to 24°C, extreme caution should be taken- especially with larger breeds, those with underlying conditions and flat-faced breeds.

When the temperature reaches 28°C, it is dangerous for all dogs but is particularly life-threatening for larger breeds, puppies and flat-faced or obese dogs.

Anything above 32°C is a major risk regardless of size, condition or breed.

Please remember to base the advice above on your dog's normal exercise tolerance levels.

REMEMBER: NEVER LEAVE YOUR DOG IN A HOT CAR.
‘NOT LONG’ IS TOO LONG.


Tips on How to Prevent Heatstroke

Make sure pets always have plenty of fresh water to drink

Providing cool, fresh drinking water is important to keep your dog’s temperature down. Keep the water in a cool, shaded place.

Provide adequate ventilation at all times

Make sure that you never leave your dog alone in a hot room or sun trap. Always make sure that there is enough ventilation for your dog.

Avoid exercising dogs in the heat of the day

Temperatures often peak between 8am and 8pm. We advise that you exercise your dog out with these times when the temperature is cooler. Always bring water on a walk with you in case your dog needs to cool down.

Remember that heatstroke can affect different breeds of dogs, older dogs and puppies more severely, please be aware of this when exercising your dog during hot weather.

Provide shade from the sun in the hottest part of the day

Please provide your dog with a cool, shaded area during the times where the temperature is at its peak (8am-8pm).

Spray your dog with cool water

Spraying your dog with cool water will help to cool them down. Please avoid immersing your dog in cold water as this can lead to shock.

Shallow paddling pools or cool mats often help dogs to cool down.

Avoid long car journeys

Cars become very hot when the sun is shining outside. Please avoid travelling long distances with your dog when it is hot outside. If you do need to make a long journey with your dog, please ensure there is adequate ventilation, plenty cool water and a shaded area for your dog to sit.

Check on your dog regularly

Keep an eye on how your dog is behaving throughout the day. If you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above, please phone a vet ASAP.

NEVER LEAVE YOUR DOG IN A PARKED CAR

Dogs die in hot cars. It can take as little as 10minutes for a dog to die in a hot car. ‘Not long’ is always too long. If you see a dog being left in a hot car, phone 999 immediately.

 

IT IS IMPORANT THAT YOU PHONE A VET IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOUR DOG MAY HAVE HEATSTROKE. Call The Roundhouse Veterinary Hospital on 0141 649 4949

 

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