News & Info

Heat Exhaustion

Warmer spring weather naturally means more walks outside and more trips to the dog park. You still may need a light jacket, but your dog can be at risk of heat exhaustion even in cooler weather, especially if there are humid conditions and/or  he is an “at-risk” breed! After being used to winter temperatures, their bodies are not yet acclimated to play and exercise that can increase body temperature. Dogs are unable to sweat like us so it is harder to cool themselves.

Hyperthermia, Heat Exhaustion, Heat Stroke are life-threatening conditions and can cause multi-organ failure- here is what you should know:

What is Hyperthermia?

Elevation in normal body temperature. A dog’s normal temperature ranges from 100.0 to 102.5. Any time the body reaches higher than 105 degrees, a true emergency exists.

What are other signs of Heat Exhaustion/Hyperthermia?

Bright red gums, inability to get up, loud raspy breathing, vomiting, lethargy, diarrhea 

What conditions can Hyperthermia occur?

Being left outside in hot/humid conditions without adequate shade, being exercised in unacclimated weather, being left in a car even on a cool day (greater than 70 degrees)

What are some predisposing factors? 

Obesity, airway disease, brachycephalic (short-nosed) breed

What do I do?

Remove the pet from the warm environment and into a cooler and shaded area     

Place a fan directly on them                                                                                      

Cool the body by placing cool lukewarm, wet towels over the neck, armpits, and groin Direct the fan on these wetted areas                                                                              

Call a veterinarian immediately for further instructions 

What DON’T I do?

Do not use cold water or ice for cooling- this can cause constriction of the superficial vessels and cause hot blood to travel to the vital organs                                          

Do not overcool your pet- Do not cool past a rectal temperature of 103 degrees     

Do not force your dog to drink water