Dogs don't sweat in the same way humans do and can easily become overheated, which can lead to heat stroke and severe medical complications, including death.
Watch for the following signs of heat stroke in dogs and contact a vet immediately if you suspect your dog is in distress.
1. Heavy Panting
Many of you may know that a dog’s primary way to cool off is through panting, however, there are different degrees of how strenuously a dog pants. When exposed to warmer temperatures dogs usually start with a slightly opened mouth light panting. As they get warmer it will progress to fully open-mouthed pant accompanied with a swollen tongue that hangs out to the side. If you notice your dog is panting heavily, get him to a cool and shady spot immediately - preferably somewhere with a fan or air conditioning. Also, offer your dog fresh water.
2. Excessive drooling
If your dog is drooling excessively while in hot temperatures, it can be a sign that he is having a hard time cooling off. Creating excess saliva helps your dog dissipate heat better than just panting alone. Of course it's best to not wait until your dog is drooling like a faucet to get inside and cooled off.
3. Frequent breaks lying down
While on a stroll or during outdoor activities you may have noticed your dog trying to lie down and take a break. This is a clear sign that he is feeling the effects of the heat and probably needs to go inside to cool down immediately. Allow him some time to recover and offer a drink of water before going indoors. If, however, your dog collapses from the heat, wet his coat with water and rush him to a veterinarian or animal hospital.
4. Fast/irregular heart beat
A racing or irregular heart beat is another sign your dog could be overheating. The increased heart rate is the body’s attempt to pump as much overheated blood as possible to the extremities and away from vital organs, where it can cause damage. If this happens to your dog, rush him to a vet.
5. Other signs
If your dog exhibits moderate to severe lethargy, vomiting, diarrhoea (especially bloody), lack of appetite or neurologic signs such as stumbling and seizures at any point after being in the heat, seek veterinary attention immediately. These could be indications that he suffered damage to internal organs secondary to heat stroke, which can lead to death if treatment isn't initiated rapidly.
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