Heat stroke is an extremely dangerous condition for a dog that could result in death. Recognize the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke to protect your dog from the heat this summer.

Heat Exhaustion And Heat Stroke

Knowing the difference between heat exhaustion and heat stroke and recognizing the symptoms could save your dog's life. Be sure to pay close attention to your dog during hot weather, and take immediate action if he shows any symptoms of overheating.

Symptoms Of Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion is the early stages of heat stroke, when the dog's body is just beginning to heat up. While heat exhaustion can be treated by you, it should be treated immediately to prevent the onslaught of heat stroke. Here are the symptoms of heat exhaustion:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Rapid panting
  • Skin reddening
  • Restlessness
  • Panting
  • Increased respiratory and heart rate
  • Excess saliva

 Symptoms Of Heat Stroke

Heat stroke is a very serious condition that needs to be treated immediately. The heightened body temperature that comes with heat stroke may cause your dog's organs to shut down, and can result in coma, seizures, or death. If your dog is showing any sign of heat stroke, he'll need immediate veterinary care. Here are the symptoms of heat stroke: 

  • Confusion
  • Drooling and thickening of saliva
  • Lethargy
  • Dizziness
  • Dry gums
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Refusal to drink
  • High temperature
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Shock
  • Coma
  • Seizures

What You Should Do

If your dog is exhibiting any signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke, it should be treated immediately to avoid any possibility of the condition getting worse.

Image By TheTorpedoDog, FlickrImage By TheTorpedoDog, FlickrTreating Heat Exhaustion

If your dog is showing signs of heat exhaustion, move him into a cool area and offer him fresh, cool water. Wet the dog's fur with luke warm water, but avoid making it completely cold as it could cool down your dog's body too quickly and cause further problems. After his fur is dampened, place him in front of a fan and let him air dry. 

Treating Heat Stroke

Heat stroke is more serious than heat exhaustion, and immediate action should be taken if your dog is showing any symptoms. First, hose him off with cool water. Avoid making it ice cold, as your dog could go into shock. Don't dry your dog off after hosing him down. Instead, immediately place him in the car and run the air conditioning. Take him straight to the vet. If possible, keep him in a sitting or standing position to avoid possible blood clotting. The vet may keep your dog up to 3 days for observation, to make sure that all his organs are running properly and he's in optimal health. (Source: Dog Heat Stroke Symptoms, Vet Info) 

It's best to prevent your dog from overheating in the first place, however, if he does show any signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke he should be treated immediately. Have fun with your dog this summer, and stay cool!

Also Read: 5 Quick Tips To Keep Your Dog Cool This Summer, or 5 Cool Products For Hot Dogs for tips to help your dog avoid heat stroke this summer.

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