How to Treat a Dog with Heat Stroke

Written by: Phil Monahan

Knowing what to do for an overheated dog can save his or her life.
Photo via wikihow

We’ve posted many times this summer about the dangers of leaving dogs in hot cars, but dogs can get overheated in many other ways, as well. One of the problems is that dogs tend to overheat faster than we do, which means you have to be vigilant even if you don’t feel too hot. Heat stroke in dogs can come on quickly and then escalate into an emergency situation in a matter of minutes.

An excellent primer on Wikihow explains the 7 steps you should take if you think your dog is in danger of heatstroke:

Step 1: Recognize the symptoms of heat stroke in a dog. React quickly if you notice that your dog is dehydrated or is suffering from some or all of the following heat stroke symptoms:

  • Unusual breathing – rapid and loud
  • High rectal temperature (see how to take this below)
  • Extreme thirst
  • Weakness and/or fatigue
  • Frequent vomiting
  • Disorientation
  • A bright red tongue and pale gums
  • Skin around muzzle or neck doesn’t snap back when pinched
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Collapse or coma
  • Thick saliva
  • Increased heart rate.

Click here for the full 7 steps.

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