Picture this: Its a extremely hot day, you have been walking for miles without anything to drink. You are tired and exhausted, the only thing you can think about is getting some water in your system, but you cant use your voice to ask for any, and you don't have any thumbs to get some yourself. Doesn't that sound pretty terrifying? Well a thirsty pet goes through that every time they get dehydrated, and unless the pets owner knows the signs of dehydration, then their pet may suffer, or much worse, die.
Dogs regulate their temperature by panting, which are short quick breaths, because they are unable to sweat from any place where they have fur.
A heatstroke normally occurs when an animal is unable to regulate their body temperature, since dogs don't sweat like humans, and rely on other ways to cool down like panting, they are more susceptible to heat related illnesses. If they are unable to bring their body temperature on their own, your dog may hyperventilate and start to pant excessively, it’s gums may become dry and pale, it may start salivating uncontrollably, become confused, experience vomiting or bloody diarrhea, and if you don't treat your overheating animal their condition could worsen resulting in a seizure or coma. In order to prevent heat related illnesses, make sure your dog has a nice shady place to relax under in hot days, on extremely hot days, it is best to bring them inside.
In Baldwin Park, California, where Tender Loving Care Animal Hospital is located, it can reach upwards of 110 degrees in the summer.
When your dog is experiencing overheating issues, it is important you spring into action and start treating it right away. If you own a rectal thermometer you can take your pets temperature. Overheating generally happens to dogs when their internal temperature rises past a dogs normal temperature, which is between 101 to 102.5 degrees. If your dog has a high temperature, or if it is exhibiting signs of overheating, you can lower your dog’s temperature by putting cool towels under their neck, in between his hid legs, and under their armpits. It is important to give your dog fresh and cool water, but make sure it doesn’t contain any ice, as that can lower your dogs temperature too quickly, sending your pooch into shock. Hydrate your dog even further by using an oral electrolyte solution such as V-Hydrate, which you can mix into your dogs water, providing an even more effective solution to help your dehydrated dog. Once you have brought your dogs temperature down or your animal isn’t responding to the treatments, it is extremely important that you get your pet to a reputable veterinarian, who can monitor your dog and give oxygen and IV fluids as necessary, especially if your dog is experiencing a seizure.
All dogs are prone to overheating, but certain breeds are even more susceptible to over heating such as animals with short noses like bulldogs.
These precautions and treatments could mean life and death for your dog, it is important to remember that our pets cannot handle the heat the way humans can. So we have to take extra precautions to make sure our furry friends are safe in the summer