Summer weather is finally here and everyone is happy, including our dogs. But as temperatures rise, this is also the time when your dog is at risk of heat stroke.
Brachycephalic breeds (smushy faced dogs) such as bulldogs, pugs and Boston terriers are most at risk, as well as obese dogs and dogs with breathing problems (such as laryngeal paralysis) that are more prone to heat stroke even in “reasonable” summer temperatures. To help prevent heat stroke, you should have your dogs avoid the high heat of the day, provide shade and fresh water if they are outside for any extended period of time
and DO NOT allow them to stay in the car with the windows up.
Signs of heat stroke include excessive panting, difficulty breathing, dazed behavior and red gums. Body temperatures will be over 105oF putting them at risk for brain damage, or worse, death. If any of these signs are apparent, you should take your dog out of the hot sun right away. They can be hosed or wetted down with cool water and a fan can be aimed at them. Have your veterinarian examine your dog immediately. Further treatment will be needed to ensure their recover.
If you have a question or answers to more pet related questions, please visit our Ask the Vet pages.