Heat Stroke in Dogs:
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Pets at Highest Risk of Heat Stroke in Dogs Include:
What to do for Heat Stroke in Dogs
Immediately get your dog to a cool place.
The first step is to get your pet out of the hot situation and into a much cooler environment right away.
Take the dog’s temperature with a rectal thermometer lubricated with petroleum jelly.
If his temperature in not higher than 104°F, the heat stroke is not too advanced and you have your best chance of helping him recover.
If his temperature is higher than 106°F and you can get to your vet or emergency veterinary center within five minutes, proceed immediately. Make your car as cold as possible and point the vents at your dog. Try to take someone else with you who can begin to cool your dog while on the way. Use ice or ice packs (or even bags of frozen peas) wrapped in towels to cool his head and body. Take special care to cool the dog’s head to prevent brain swelling. You can also use 70% isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol on his armpits, groin and the pads of his feet to help cool him (do not use more than half a point/eight ounces, or it can be toxic).
If you’re more than five minutes from a veterinary facility or if your dog is conscious, immediately begin to cool him yourself by beginning appropriate dog first aid.
If you have an outdoor hose, spray your dog with it (make sure the water is cool first). You can also put your dog in the shower and run cool water on him for several minutes. If this is not possible, soak towels in cold water and apply them to your dog’s head, neck, chest, stomach and feet. Once again, you can use 70% rubbing alcohol on his armpits, groin and pads of his feet, but not more than half a pint.
Do not immerse your dog in cold water, as this can be very dangerous.
Offer him a cold drink.
Make sure that your dog drinks as much cold water as he wants to help cool him down and prevent dehydration.
When his temperature falls below106°F, immediately take him to the vet.
According to the American Red Cross’
Once his temperature falls to 103°F, stop the cooling process, as if you continue his body temperature could plummet dangerously low.
Check for shock.
If your dog is in shock, rush him to the nearest veterinary hospital, as this can lead to cardiac arrest and death. Do not wrap him in a blanket if his temperature is above 103°F.
Be prepared to perform CPR.
Check to make sure your dog is breathing. If not, begin CPR (see our article on dog CPR ).
Even if you successfully manage to bring your dog’s temperature down to 103°F, you must still take him to a veterinarian as soon as possible. Your veterinarian will need to examine him for side-effects, some of which might not become evident for hours of even days, and can be fatal if left untreated.
Preventing Heat Stroke in Dogs
Common sense prevention is the best way to keep your pet from suffering a heat stroke tragedy.
Heat stroke in dogs is a serious emergency that, if not treated immediately, can be fatal. Thankfully, proper prevention can keep your precious canine safe and healthy – in all types of weather.
If your pet is showing any signs of distress or you suspect your pet is seriously ill, contact your veterinarian immediately. This information is not meant to be a substitute for veterinary care.