Consumer Tips

Top Three Dog Heat Stroke Questions

The weather is warming up and everyone is headed out to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air! However, before you take your dog outside, be aware that the heat can be dangerous, even deadly, for dogs. Heat is especially dangerous if your dog is a short or flat nose dog breed.

1. What Are The Symptoms of Heat Stroke in Dogs?

Panting is a normal physiologic response to heat, but if after taking a break your pet continues to pant heavily, it is possible he or she could be getting heat stroke, which can be a medical emergency. Take your pet to a shady cool area and provide access to water.

Signs of heat stroke include heavy panting or difficulty breathing, bright red gums, wobbliness, vomiting, diarrhea and collapse. Seek immediate veterinary medical help if this occurs.

2. What Should I Do If I Suspect Dog Heat Stroke?

Heat stroke is a medical emergency and requires immediate veterinary attention. NEVER douse your pet in cold water if you think heat stroke is a possibility, instead move to a cool air-conditioned area and get to a veterinary clinic immediately.

3. Are Some Dog Breeds More Susceptible to Heat Stroke?

Any breed with a short or flat nose is at an increased risk. It compromises their ability to breathe effectively, and therefore can limit their ability to cool themselves in situations where heat and exercise are involved. Examples include English bulldogs, French bulldogs, pugs, and shih tzus. With these dogs it is especially important to avoid the heat of the midday sun, always provide shade and water when playing in the summertime.

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Dr. Fiona is a veterinarian and guest blogger for pet health insurance provider, Pets Best Insurance.

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