Last week I published an article on keeping your dog cool during the summer. Unfortunately, no matter how hard you try, your dog might overheat anyway. It’s essential to know if this is happening though. If left ignored, your dog could have heatstroke, slip into a coma or even die – and this could all happen within 20 minutes.
The first signs of overheating include heavy panting, hyperventilation , increased salivation early then dry gums as the heat prostration progresses, weakness, confusion or inattention, vomiting or diarrhea and sometimes bleeding. When it is hot out, you should be watching your dog constantly to make sure he doesn’t overheat.
At 105 degrees, heatstroke will set in. The three main signs of heatstroke are collapse, blood red lips & tongue and extreme difficulty in breathing. At 110 degrees, the internal organs will become affected and cell damage will occur. At this point the dog may have a seizure, slip into a coma, or even die.
If your dog is overheating, take action immediately. Try to get your dog to drink some water. Move him into an air conditioned environment, if possible. Cool your dog with cool, but not cold water. If you dog has thick fur, continue to apply cool water. Blow fans on the dog when possible and apply ice to the groin area, arm pits and neck.
Fortunately, preventing heat stroke in dogs is easy if you apply the general guidelines for keeping your dog cool. Just remember, your dog is just as sensitive to heat as you. If you are hot, chances are he is too.