Heat Stroke

Big possibility in our hot South African conditions, if no provision is made to cool a dog

down. E.g. shady spot in garden, water sprayer, swimming pool, and lots of cool

drinking water available all day.

In simple terms, heatstroke occurs when a dog loses its natural ability to regulate its

body temperature. Dogs don’t sweat all over their bodies the way humans do. Canine

body temperature is primarily regulated through respiration (i.e., panting). If a dog’s

 respiratory tract cannot evacuate heat quickly enough, heatstroke can occur


Signs of heatsroke:

You’ll know when a dog is over heating when the breathing becomes laboured and very

noisy and rasping.  Excessive panting, hyperventilation, increase salivation, dry gums

that might become pale as well,  rapid and erratic pulse,  weakness, confusion, vomiting,

diarrhea, rectal bleeding and the tongue can even turn blue. If any of these conditions

 does occur, the dog’s temperature should be brought down immediately



* Move the dog into the shade as quick as possible.

* Apply cool (not cold) water to the inner thigh and stomach area where there’s a high

   consentration of superficial blood vessels, that will  help with speeding up the process.

* Apply cool (not cold) water to the foot area as well.

* Use running water, never submerge the dog in a pool or a tub, as to rapid cooling migh

   cause other complications.

* Never cover the dog with a towel of something similar, as that will inhibit evaporatoin.

   Therefore dog should be kept in a ventilated area, and not a closed environment.

* Keep the dog moving, as bloodflow will assist in cooling down the dog. Encourage dog

   to stand up and walk slowly.

* Allow dog to drink small amounts of cool water. Dont allow gulping down of water, if

  he drinks to much to quick it can cause vomiting or bloating.

* Avoid giving human performance drinks. It won’t have the desired effect.

* Once temperature is normal take dog to the vet so he/she can check that no damages

  were caused.

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