Identifying the Symptoms of Heat Stroke & Dehydration in Dogs

With what is looking to be the hottest Summer on record, we are hearing an alarming amount of reports of dogs suffering from dehydration and heat stroke.

It’s glorious outside at the moment, why wouldn’t you want to spend your days outside? If you are and you’re taking your dog along with you, please be sure to use extra caution.

Our previous post “Tips for Keeping your Dog Cool this Summer” offers some really helpful to help prevent overheating but you should continue to be vigilant.

Here is a list of some of the symptoms of Heat Stroke in dogs:

  • High Temperature (38ºC is normal)
  • Excessive salivation
  • Thickened saliva around the mouth
  • Fast breathing and panting (after just light exercise)
  • Heavily fatigue
  • Staggering when walking
  • Trembling muscles

If you identify any of these symptoms, take your dog inside immediately and wrap you dog in cold, wet towels – make sure you cover the groin, belly and underarms.

Check their temperature every five minutes. If your dog’s temperature is beginning to lowers to the region of around 39-40ºC remove the towels, this is to avoid cooling too quickly and causing shock.

Offer your dog cool water but, if they aren’t ready to drink, be patient and don’t force them to.

If after five minutes their temperature has barely decreased or if they do not approach the water for 20-30 minutes after removing the towels you should contact your vet. There is a chance that your dog is dehydrated and they may want you to bring them in immediately to attach IV fluids.

Here are some symptoms for Dehydration in dogs:

  • Sluggishness
  • Lazy, depressed movements
  • Dry mouth/tongue
  • Sunken eyes
  • Dry Skin

To test for dry skin, gently pinch a fold of skin above the neck to see how it reacts. If it is slow to go back to it’s normal position, dehydration could be a concern.

Take another look at the aforementioned blog post “Tips for Keeping your Dog Cool this Summer” for some ideas on how to encourage your dog to keep hydrated; but some other ideas are to try different bowls, a dash of flavouring to the water (juice or broth).

If you ever have any doubts, queries or concerns, do not hesitate to contact your vet.

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