Heatstroke occurs when normal body mechanisms cannot keep the body's temperature
in a safe range. Animals don't have efficient cooling systems (like humans who
sweat) and get overheated easily. A dog with moderate heatstroke (body
temperature from 104º to 106ºF) can recover within an hour if given prompt first
aid. Severe heatstroke (body temperature over 106ºF) can be deadly and immediate
veterinary assistance is needed.
A dog suffering from heatstroke will display several signs: a bright red
tongue, red or pale gums; thick, sticky saliva; rapid panting; weakness,
dizziness, vomiting, diarrhea, and shock.
What You Should Do
For severe heatstroke, transport your dog to the veterinarian immediately. If
you are more than five minutes from the veterinary hospital and your dog is
conscious, lower his temperature to at least 106ºF before going to the hospital.
Use a hose, shower, or tub full of cold water to wet down your dog. Keep him
watered down with cool water until his temperature drops. Check their
temperature every ten minutes and stop the cooling process once his temperature
For moderate heatstroke, water down your dog and move him into a cool
environment. Give him a children's rehydration fluid or water.
What Your Veterinarian Will Do
Your veterinarian will lower your dog's body temperature to a safe range (if
you haven't already) and continually monitor his temperature. Your dog will be
given fluids, monitored for shock, respiratory distress, kidney failure, and
Dogs with moderate heatstroke often recover without complicating health
problems. Severe heatstroke can cause organ damage that might need ongoing care
such as a special diet prescribed by your veterinarian. Dogs who suffer from
heatstroke once increase their risk for getting it again and steps must be taken
to prevent it on hot, humid days: Do not leave your pet in the car, muzzle him,
confine him without shade, or confine him to concrete or asphalt surfaces.
Restrict exercise, provide constant access to water, and keep pets with
breathing problems indoors.
© 2001 Drs. Foster & Smith, Inc.
Reprinted as a courtesy and with permission from PetEducation.com
On-line store at
Free pet supply catalog: 1-800-323-4208
Additional Info from Chief's Brittanys
Hot weather hunting with your dog, such
as dove hunting, requires some planning. All too often we rush through our
mental checklist that simply reads, “Don’t forget Missy (the dog)”. It’s very
easy for a dog to get too hot and suffer from heat stroke so here are a few
We recommend a minimum of the following prevention steps:
Several gallons of cold water kept in a large ice chest filled with ice.
A large dog watering bowl with ‘anti-tip’ sides kept full of water from
the ice chest available to your dog at all times.
Offer Ice Cubes (for your dog to chew/eat) frequently.
Shade! Do not confine the dog to a plastic crate or dog box, especially
in the sun.
Dog snacks (try this: roll some raw hamburger into meatballs, make
holes in the meatballs with your finger, add dollops of honey in the holes,
close holes, place on wax paper, freeze. This makes for an ice cold and tasty
If a medium or longhaired dog, a very close hair cut.
First Aid kit for dogs and First Aid treatment manual for dogs.
Keep the back half of your dogs’ head and entire neck soaking wet with
cool water after each exercise session (hunting, each retrieve).
If you’ve got access to a lot of water, wet the ground where your dog is
lying down as in dove hunting. Your dog will sprawl out and cool it’s belly if
you do this.
If there is a nearby pond/tank, take frequent breaks and allow your dog
to go for a swim.
If you have a cell phone, program the local emergency veterinarian phone
number for where you are hunting into it. If no cell phone, write down the
numbers and place in your wallet.
When it comes to your dogs health, remember this: When in doubt, get to the
Here's a couple great books to have:
Click for the Dog Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook.
Start with this
book when beginning a dog book library! This book has it all and is a
wonderful reference book!
Click for the Field Guide: Dog First Aid Emergency Care for the Hunting, Working
and Outdoor Dog
on stapling and gluing wounds, releasing dogs caught in traps, examining your
dog, and updated material throughout. Other problems in the field, such as
snakebites, poisoning, choking, gunshot wounds, cuts,
eye and ear problems, broken bones, and more are covered in detail.
Your purchase of a book through these links helps
us stay on the web. Thank you!
Hope this bit of info helped you out. Give your dog a biscuit for me!
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