Heat Stroke in Dogs: Everything Pet Parents in Peoria, IL Should Know
Heat stroke and heat exhaustion can be very dangerous for pets in Peoria, including dogs. Heat stroke is a condition that is caused by an extreme elevation in body temperature, called hyperthermia. Body temperature rises when the dog is exposed to a hot environment. When this happens, a dog’s temperature rises and a heat stroke or heat exhaustion can result.
Heat stroke is very serious and requires immediate medical attention by a veterinarian in Peoria, IL. Once detected, this condition can cause serious damage or even death to the dog if left untreated, which is why time is truly of the essence for this.
How Do Dogs Get Heat Stroke in Peoria, IL?
A stroke occurs when a blood vessel becomes blocked or narrows so blood and oxygen are no longer carried to the brain, causing brain cells to die. Dogs will show different neurological signs of a heat stroke depending on the damage severity, usually regulated by the temperature of the dog.
Dogs are susceptible to heat stroke as they do not sweat through their skin like humans do. Dogs have small sweat glands on their noses and footpads, but is not enough to release all their body heat that they carry. If a dog cannot expel his heat properly, his internal temperature begins to rise. Damage to them becomes irreversible when their temperature reaches 106 degrees.
Common Symptoms of Dog Heat Stroke in Peoria, IL
Heat exhaustion usually comes before a heat stroke in dogs. Panting, lethargy, and failure to follow directions are signs of heat exhaustion. Heat strokes are more severe and have more symptoms to look out for.
Some common symptoms of heat stroke in dogs to keep an eye out for include:
- Increased temperature (anything over 104 degrees requires attention)
- Extreme panting
- Dizziness and disorientation
- Dark red gums
- Tacky or dry mucous membranes (the gums)
- Thick saliva
- Lying down and unwilling to get up
- Collapse or loss of consciousness
What to Do if Your Dog’s Experiencing Heat Stroke in Peoria, IL
If you think your dog has heat stroke, you must take immediate action. You need to get his body temperature lowered quickly.
Offer water and wet his body with something cold to cool him down as quickly as possible as you drive to the veterinarian in Peoria. Do not over water your dog as it may make him sicker.
Try to Cool Down Your Dog as Much as Possible
There are several safe ways to cool down your dog if they have heat stroke:
Get Your Dog Out of the Sun
Move your dog out of the heat into a cool, shady area.
Offer Your Dog Water, but Don’t Force Him to Drink
Do NOT use ice water. Extreme cold can cause blood vessels to restrict and may cause his internal temperature to rise even further.
Wipe Him with a Cool Rag
Use cool but not cold water. Use rags or washcloths on the footpads, around the head, abdomen, and armpits. Don’t cover him completely with towels or rags as it may trap in the heat. Use a fan to cool him off or place him in an air-conditioned space.
When the body temperature reaches under 104 degrees, stop cooling. Your dog’s body should continue to cool on its own at this point.
Seek Veterinary Care
Visit a veterinarian in Peoria as soon as possible. Internal damage cannot be seen on the outside and your vet will have to perform tests to see where your dog stands on his internal damage, if any.
How to Prevent Dog Heat Stroke in Peoria, IL
There are ways to prevent heat stroke from happening. It is a very serious matter and if you can help your dog from avoiding things that might cause it, it would be good to know what those things are.
Here are several ways to prevent heat stroke from happening in dogs:
Never Leave Your Dog in the Car on a Hot Day
You should never leave your dog alone in the car on a warm sunny day, even with the windows open. Many dogs succumb to the heat in a hot car. The inside of a car can act like an oven in the sun, and that heat can be directly transferred to your dog.
Even if the weather outside is not that hot, don’t chance it. Temperatures can rise quickly in an automobile.
Avoid Extreme Exercise on Hot Days
Use shade often on hot days and allow your dog to be as mellow and cool as possible. Overheating your dog on a hot day can lead to problems. So allow them to be relaxed and do not engage in strenuous activity.
Keep Your Dog Hydrated
Keep cool, fresh water available to your pet at all times. Whether outside or indoors, they need access to an unlimited water supply.
Keep an Eye on Certain Breeds and Overweight Dogs
Certain dogs, such as those that are overweight, large or short-nosed, are more sensitive to heat than others. You need to watch them closely as they can overheat easily than other dogs.
Many dogs can recover from heat stroke, but some do not. It is a serious issue. Use the above preventive measures to help prevent heat stroke and keep your dog as cool as possible, especially in warm weather.
What Dogs are More Susceptible to Heat Stroke in Peoria, IL?
Many breeds, such as retrievers, labs and collies, don’t slow down when they become super hot. They will continue to be active and overheat until they collapse. It is best not to exercise them in warm weather and make sure they are staying cool and have plenty of water.
Dogs that are darker in color also tend to have a harder time cooling off in summer months. If your pet has black or dark hair, it is extremely important to keep him cool and not let him overheat.
Go to the Vet in Peoria, IL if Your Dog is Experiencing Heat Stroke
As soon as you notice signs of heat stroke in your dog, it’s extremely important to seek veterinary care for them as soon as possible. When caught and treated early enough, your pet can fully recover from this condition. However, as time goes on and more severe symptoms start to emerge, it becomes more likely that this will negatively impact your dog in the long run. Time is of the essence with this condition, so never wait to seek veterinary care.
Our team at Whitney Veterinary Hospital in Peoria is available to help you and your dog if they have heat stroke. If you’re unsure about what you should do, don’t hesitate to call us or contact an emergency vet right away if it’s after hours. Nothing is more important to us than your pet’s health, which is why our team always makes it our number one priority.