Summer can take its toll on you when the outdoor temperature and humidity soar. You probably take refuge indoors in the air conditioning as much as possible. Your dog can get hot and miserable too. In fact, your dog can overheat and suffer from heatstroke. If that ever happens, you'll want to take your dog to a pet hospital right away.
These are symptoms of heatstroke in dogs, treatments the pet hospital might provide, and how you can prevent this serious health emergency from happening.
Symptoms Your Dog May Have With Heatstroke
Your dog will probably look overheated and be drooling and panting more than normal. Your dog may be conscious but listless and confused. They may have vomiting spells. Your dog may even be so overcome with heat that they collapse and become unconscious. This is a serious complication of heatstroke that needs immediate attention from a vet.
When your dog acts unusual, especially if it's very hot outdoors and your dog has been in the sun, it's a good idea to call your veterinarian right away and get advice or take your dog to a pet hospital to be examined.
Treatments Your Dog May Receive For Heatstroke
If you can't get to a pet hospital right away, call your veterinarian and explain your dog's symptoms. They may tell you to put your dog in the shade or air conditioning. They might also advise applying cool water to your dog's skin in areas where there isn't much hair to bring down your pet's temperature.
Even if your dog seems to get a little better with home treatment, your vet will probably still want to see your pet as soon as possible for a thorough checkup and additional medical treatments if needed.
When you take your dog to the pet hospital, the veterinarian will try to bring your pet's temperature down slowly and get it in the normal range. They may also need to support your dog's condition by starting an IV to combat dehydration and providing oxygen if your dog is struggling to breathe.
Your dog may need to stay in the intensive care unit of the pet hospital for treatment. Heatstroke can affect any or all of the body organs, so the veterinarian may need to deliver medications and treatments to your dog's lungs, GI tract, cardiovascular system, or kidneys.
Steps For Preventing Heatstroke
Don't leave your dog in a car when it's hot outside, especially with the windows raised. It doesn't even have to be very hot outdoors to cause your dog to overheat and develop heat stress or have heatstroke since the heat inside a car builds fast. Also, avoid leaving your dog in a closed house when the AC isn't working. Your dog needs air conditioning or air circulation to stay cool.
If your dog is outside a lot, make sure there is plenty of shade available and a cool place to hide from the sun. You might even want to place a shallow pool of cool water in the shade for your dog to rest in. Also, try not to walk your dog on the pavement during the heat of the day. The hot pavement along with exercise could make your dog overheat.