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Now that the weather is finally warming up for Summer, we need to be careful that our furry friends don’t over-exert themselves in the heat. Heatstroke is very common in dogs, particularly in the brachycephalic (‘squashed face’) breeds such as pugs, bulldogs and boxers as they have more difficulty in oxygenating themselves properly when they exercise, however, all dogs are at risk.
Unlike humans, dogs do not sweat from their skin and instead rely on panting to reduce their body temperature. On hot days, if panting is not enough to maintain a normal temperature, dogs can quickly overheat and be at risk of developing Heat Stroke. It can take dogs up to 60 days to acclimatise to an increased temperature, and an increase of only two degrees of their core temperature can lead to heatstroke. If left untreated it can rapidly lead to organ failure and death, so prevention and recognition of it are crucial.
If you are concerned that your pet may be suffering from heatstroke, immediately stop any exercise and move your pet to a shady place.
Offer small sips of water and wet your dog with water to cool it down (do not use icy or very cold water as it causes constriction of vessels in the skin which actually retains more heat.).
Contact us as soon as you notice the symptoms and bring your friend straight down to the surgery so that our vets can check the temperature and commence any further treatment required for your pet or even just pop in for a friendly bowl of water and a treat!