Sunday, 1 July 2012

Heatstroke in Puppies and Dogs

Heatstroke can kill your puppy within 15 minutes. Puppies are more prone to heatstroke than humans. Unlike humans dogs do not have sweet glands all over their body. Dogs sweat through their paws and they have their fur all year round. They regulate their body temprature mostly through panting. Panting brings in cool outside air into their body and releases the excess heat from their body. But when outside air is a higher temprature  than their body temprature heatstroke strikes.
A dogs normal body temprature is 100.5 to 102.5 degrees fahrenheit. At 105 degrees fahrenheit your dog will start to show the signs of heatstroke and suffers the effects of it. At 106 degrees and above it gets very serious and irreversible damage begins.
The signs of heatstroke

  • Rapid Heavy Panting 
  • Increased Drooling
  • Hyperventilation\Gasping for Air
  • Deep red hemorrhages on gums and skin
  • Rapid Pulse
  • Vomiting
  • Diarhea
  • Dizzy
  • Dry Gums
  • Bleeding
  • Staring Glassy Eyes
  • Warm
  • Weakness
  • Fever
  • Pale Gums
  • Increased Heartbeat
  • Weak
  • Collapse
  • Seizures
  • Coma

Treatment of Heat Stroke

  • Get puppy to a cool room with fan/air conditioning.
  • Apply cool water but not ice cold water, if you cool the pup down too quickly you could cause bloating and heart attack. You should use a hose. Apply water first to inner thighs and stomach where there are larger blood vessels. Wet the foot pads as well.
  • Don't submerge the puppy in a bath of water or pool as this will cool the pup down too quickly causing heart attack or bloat. 
  • Don't cover the dog with a wet towel. The water needs to evaporate. Don't enclose the pup there needs to be free flowing air.
  • Get them to stand up and  walk around as this will increase the blood circulation and cool the puppy down quicker.
  • Give them cool water to drink.
  • If the puppy's temperature is above 107 degree's give them a cold water enema. 
  • When you get their  temperature down to 104 bring them to the vet.

Prevention of Heat Stroke in Puppies and Dogs

  • Avoid vigorous exercise with your pet on warm days best to play in the shade
  • Easy access to fresh cool water. 
  • Never leave you puppy/dog alone on a warm day in a car even if you have the windows down. A car can heat up very quickly even if its not very warm outside. Dog's been left alone in cars is one of the most common causes of heatstroke.
  • Short nosed dogs such as pugs and bulldogs are more at risk to get heatstroke. Puppies under 6 months. Obese dogs. Dog's with existing medical conditions such as heart and airway problems. Older dogs.
  • They should have access to a shady spot if outside.

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