Heatstroke or hyperthermia is a condition caused by your body overheating, usually as a result of prolonged exposure to or physical exertion in high temperatures. According to one vet, this is typically when the body reaches temperatures higher than 40C – typical body temperatures for a cat or dog ranges from 37C and 39C.
This normally happens when dogs are left in hot cars or in direct sunlight without adequate ventilation, shade or water. It can happen in as little as a few minutes so its important to know what to look out for.
Heatstroke is a medical emergency and you should contact your vet immediately. However, there are things that you can do to help your four-legged friend before you can reach a vet.
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The vet, who does under the Tik Tok handle @doctor_tori took to social media to share the common symptoms of heatstroke that she looks for. As well as what to do and what never to do while treating your pet.
It comes as warmer temperatures and sunny weather is on the way, meaning millions of dog owners across the country are excitedly heading out for adventures with their dogs.
See the video below:
Signs of heatstroke in dogs include:
- Body temperature rising to over 40C
- Excessive panting
- High heart rate
- Abnormal gum colour – gums should be pink
- Abnormal mentation
Has your pet ever had heatstroke? Share in the comments below
What to do if you think your dog has heatstroke?
- The first thing Doctor Tori recommends is taking a wet rage and wiping your dog down to start the cooling process.
- Next, turn on a fan and put it on your dog or if you are on the move open your car windows to circulate the air and move the heat off them.
- Put alcohol on your dogs paw pads
Things you should never do if you suspect your dog has heatstroke:
- Never cover the dog in a wet or cold towel – Doctor Tori says that this will prevent the evaporation from taking the heat away.
- No ice baths or ice packs – this will cool the pet down too quickly leading to additional problems.
You should be doing your best to take your dog’s temperature throughout the cooling process because once they reach 38C you should stop the active cooling process. If you continue and reduce their temperatures more than that, then your pet can become hypothermic.
Hypothermia has lower rates of survival in dogs than heatstroke.
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