11 Warning Signs Your Dog Is Suffering from Heat Stroke
Spotting heat stroke in dogs isn’t always easy. Veterinarians say these are the signs every dog owner should know.
Your dog has muddy or pale mucous membranes
If your dog is already drooling like a faucet and panting, this might get messy; but if you check your dogs’ mucous membranes, you may be able to identify another sign of heat stroke in dogs. Gently, pull back the upper lips and take a look at the gums. They should be pink and moist, not muddy or pale, explains Dr. Rossman says. However, some breeds, like a Saint Bernard, have naturally dark gums. In that case, get to the vet, who will likely check the inner eyelids.
“Quick action is needed to save the life of a dog suffering from heatstroke,” says integrative veterinarian, Carol Osborne, DVM of Chagrin Falls Veterinary Center and Pet Clinic in Ohio. “Permanent brain and organ damage can occur when the body temperature reaches or exceeds 106 degrees.” If heatstroke is severe and left untreated, coma and death can occur. Call your vet immediately and start cooling down your dog. “Soak him in cool or lukewarm water and offer cool fluids but do not force-feed water,” says Dr. Osborne. It’s important to bring down the temperature gradually. If a tub isn’t an option, Dr. Rossman says, wrap your dog in towels soaked in lukewarm water. Never place your dog in an ice bath—that will cause blood vessels to constrict, slowing blood flow and interfering with cooling. Don’t miss these 28 summer health tips all dog owners should follow.