Heatstroke_in_Dogs_mobile_view Heatstroke_in_Dogs

What is Heatstroke in Dogs?

Heat stroke in dogs, known as hyperthermia, occurs when a dog's body temperature exceeds 103°F (39.4°C) during summer. Exposure to excessive environmental temperature rise causes heatstroke in dogs, especially in hot, humid climates. Too much heat leads to organ failure and can kill your Fido before you provide him with first aid.

Recognizing the signs of heatstroke and seeking immediate veterinary care is important. As a responsible pet parent, you should take care of your fur baby for an extended period when he/she is out in the summer months. Unlike humans, dogs only have sweat glands on their paws and must rely on panting to cool down.

Also Read: The Hidden Risks of Temperature Changes for Pets: What You Need to Know

What causes Heat stroke in dogs?

Dogs are susceptible to heatstroke, especially in hot, humid climates. They can't regulate their temperature well, so protect them regardless of age, breed, or gender.

Heatstroke occurs when the body can't sweat and panting isn't enough in extreme temperatures. Even if you feel fine, your dog's temperature could rise outdoors.

Attention! These 5 signs say your dog is suffering from heatstroke

Leaving dogs in hot cars, especially in direct sunlight, causes heatstroke.

To prevent it:

  • Never leave your dog in a hot car.
  • Use a pet monitor for temperature.
  • Carry extra water.
  • Exercise during cooler times.
  • Administer first-aid for heat stress.

Monitor your dog for heatstroke signs regardless of the temperature.

Also Read: How to avoid heatstroke in dogs?

What is Hyperthermia in Dogs?

Hyperthermia refers to elevated body heat, with three types: Heat Stress, Heat Exhaustion, and Heatstroke. Heat exhaustion is milder than heatstroke, with a body temperature below 104°F. Pets with heat exhaustion can still walk but show signs of panting and dehydration.

Heat stress is a mild illness marked by increased thirst and panting. If left untreated, it can progress to heat exhaustion. Dogs with heat stress exhibit increased heart rate, dry or sticky gums, unusual gum color, lethargy, disorientation, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive drooling, and sometimes seizures, eventually leading to heatstroke.

Also Read: Excessive Panting in Puppies: Causes, Concerns, & Solutions


Signs of Heat stroke in dogs

Signs of Heatstroke in dogs include a body temperature above the normal range (104-106°F), excessive panting, bright red gums, and thick saliva. When the temperature exceeds 106°F, symptoms such as pale gums, dizziness, nosebleeds, dehydration, vomiting, and diarrhea worsen.

Common heat stroke symptoms:

Also Read: Heatstroke in Puppies Symptoms

  • Body Temperature Rise: Ensure it's not above 103°F (39°C).
  • Irregular Heartbeat: Seek immediate vet care if observed.
  • Loss of Consciousness: If your dog appears dull and inactive for a prolonged period.
  • Limping: If your dog loses balance, provide water and seek vet care promptly.

Also Read: 11 Crazy Tricks to Get Your Dog to Drink More Water

How long does heat stroke in dogs last?

Heat stroke in dogs can have lasting effects:

  • Neurological Dysfunction: This can lead to seizures, coordination issues, and cognitive problems over time.
  • Organ Damage: Heart, liver, and kidney damage can result in chronic diseases.
  • Heat Sensitivity: Increased susceptibility to future heat-related illnesses.
  • Gastrointestinal Problems: Severe heatstroke can cause long-term digestive issues.

Also Read: How to improve your dog's gut health?

Heat stroke in dogs treatment at home

You must bring your dog’s body temperature down to 102F or less, which is the most important part of rushing the pet to the emergency clinic. But if the condition is severe, then they need veterinary attention.


Also Read: What are safe outdoor temperatures for dogs?

Some of the standard first aid methods are:

1. Lay them down on a wet towel or ice pack.

2. Add more ice cubes to their water

3. Use a shade screen or let them lie in the shade

4. Give him a cool bath, not too cold.

5. Bring your dog into an airy space and turn on the fan.

6. Rehydrate your dog by offering ice cubes to lick or energy drinks.

7. Wrap him/her in cold, wet towels for some time.

8. Soak the pet in cold water from the hose.

How do veterinarians diagnose heatstroke in dogs?

  • Clinical Exam: Vital signs, demeanor, and temperature check (above 104°F).
  • History and Environment: Assessing exposure, activity, and medical history, considering the environment.
  • Symptoms: Evaluating panting, drooling, rapid breathing, weakness, gum color, vomiting, diarrhea, and collapse.
  • Lab Tests: Blood tests (CBC, biochemistry, electrolytes) and CK levels for muscle damage.
  • Imaging: X-rays or ultrasounds for severe cases.
  • ECG: Monitoring heart rhythm.
  • Organ Function: Checking liver and kidney function.
  • Urinalysis: Detecting kidney damage and dehydration.

Prognosis of heatstroke in dogs

  • Severity: Mild cases with prompt care are better, while severe ones with high temperatures and organ issues are challenging.
  • Timely Treatment: Quick care, like cooling and fluids, boosts recovery chances.
  • Health: Pre-existing issues worsen prognosis
  • Age: Puppies and seniors face more risk.
  • Hyperthermia Duration: Longer, high body temps risk organ damage.
  • Organ Issues: Kidney failure and neuro damage worsen prognosis.
  • Vet Care: Expert care, perhaps hospitalization, is vital.

Heat stroke in dogs - Aftercare

Prevention is a crucial process. Most recover properly, but severe cases can lead to organ failure. Special diets and veterinary care may be needed. Be vigilant for symptoms like irregular heart rate and seizures, which can occur.

Follow these simple and effective steps:

1. Keep your dog in a cool, well-ventilated space.

2. Avoid strenuous activities.

3. Use a Pet Temperature Monitor.

4. Avoid hot, poorly ventilated areas.

5. Limit outdoor time on warm days.

6. Provide shade and water.

7. Show love and care.

8. Carry extra water.

9. Use air conditioning.

10. Maintain a safe temperature for your dog.

Can heat stroke cause death in dogs?

Every year, hundreds of canine friends in the US suffer from heat-related illnesses, including heat stroke. Never leave your dog inside a parked car or outdoors, as dogs are extremely sensitive to extreme temperatures, especially on a hot day. On an 80-degree day, a car's interior can reach 100 degrees in just 10 minutes, putting your dog at risk of heat exhaustion. Any dog, regardless of breed, age, or gender, can be affected. Even fit dogs, and those with weak immune systems are at risk. Be vigilant and protect your furry friend from the dangers of overheating.

How to prevent heatstroke in dogs?

There are numerous amount of preventive measures to avoid sunstroke. Some commonly followed methods are providing enough water and avoiding spending time outdoors when temperatures rise.

Do not let your pooch go out when you feel hot and humid outside; if not, provide shaded areas. But these common prevention methods are often insufficient to save your Fido from heat.

Preventing heatstroke in dogs involves:

  • Providing constant access to water.
  • Feeding them cooling summer foods.
  • Keeping them indoors during extreme temperatures.
  • Use a Pet Monitor for temperature alerts.
  • Carrying extra water.
  • Avoid outdoor caging without shade and water.
  • Limiting play and exercise during extreme heat.
  • Ensuring well-ventilated rooms.
  • Monitoring car/RV temperatures.
  • Regularly wetting your dog with cool water.

What dog breeds are at high risk for heat stroke?

1. Chow chow
2. Bulldog
3. French bulldog
4. Dogue de Bordeaux
5. Greyhound
6. Cavalier King Charles spaniel
7. Golden retriever
8. Pug
9. Springer Spaniel

Dogs at higher risk of heatstroke include those with thick coats, obesity, puppies, senior pets, weak immunity, limited water access, short-nosed or Brachycephalic dog breeds, and heart/lung issues.

Waggle Pet Monitor - Your Dog’s Saviour!

Like many health-related issues, heat stroke can also be prevented through continually advancing technology. Whether you're a pet traveler or a dog owner at home, utilizing pet protection monitors can prove invaluable. Waggle Pet Monitor continuously track your dog's environmental temperature and send notifications via text or email when it exceeds or falls below your preset range. This innovative technology is crucial in safeguarding your cherished pets from heatstroke and frostbite.

waggle pet monitor