Heat Stroke – the facts


Sometimes it’s hard to believe that even in Scotland dogs die from heatstroke but believe me – THEY DO!

Dogs can’t tolerate high temperatures as well as humans because they only have sweat glands in their feet and around their nose so they are less able to cool themselves down.

As a result, dogs typically rely on panting to keep themselves cool. Panting is one of the most important ways dogs regulate their temperature.

Tips to keep your dog cool

  1. Restrict exercise on hot days
  2. Never leave dogs in hot rooms or sun traps
  3. Avoid long car journeys
  4. Make sure they have access to a cool shaded place and cool drinking water
  5. Always take water on a walk
  6. In summer, walk your dog early in the morning or later in the evening
  7. Spray your dog with cool water
  8. Never leave your dog in a parked car

Heat stroke takes effect very quickly and is an emergency!

It is important that you recognise the signs and make sure your pet gets treatment straight away. Otherwise, it can result in death.

It’s particularly devastating as it’s easily avoided so make sure you know how to recognise the signs.

Signs of heat stroke in dogs

  1. Faster, heavier panting
  2. Barking, whining or signs of agitation
  3. Excessive thirst
  4. Excessive drooling
  5. Increased pulse and heartbeat
  6. Dark-coloured (red or purple) gums or tongue
  7. Glassy eyes
  8. Elevated body temperature of 40ºC (104ºF) and up
  9. Staggering, weakness or collapse
  10. Seizures
  11. Unconsciousness

Detecting heat stroke early and treating it promptly is essential to your dog recovering successfully.

We will most likely try to cool your dog gradually and put him on a drip to replace lost fluids and minerals. We may also instruct you to try to cool your dog down on the journey. Please call us for advice on the safest way to do this.

 Never immerse your dog in cold water as this can lead to shock.

If you are concerned at all about your pet in the heat please call us. We are here to help!

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