Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Recognizing Heat Stroke in Dogs

It's HOT out there! Please make sure you're aware of the signs of heatstroke in your pet.
Early Stages of Heat-Stroke in Animals:
Heavy panting.
Rapid breathing
Excessive drooling.
Bright red gums and tongue.
Standing 4-square, posting or spreading out in an attempt to maintain balance.

Advanced Stages:
White or blue gums.
Lethargy, unwillingness to move.
Uncontrollable urination or defecation.
Labored, noisy breathing.

If your dog begins to exhibit signs of heatstroke, you should immediately try to cool the dog down:
Apply rubbing alcohol to the dog's paw pads.
Apply ice packs to the groin area.
Hose down with water.
Allow the dog to lick ice chips or drink a small amount of water.
Offer Pedialyte to restore electrolytes.
Check your dog's temperature regularly during this process. Once the dog's temperature has stabilized at between 100 to 102 degrees, you can stop the cool-down process.
If you cannot get the dog cooled down and you begin to see signs of advanced heatstroke, take the dog to the veterinarian immediately.

Anne Gavin – Organizer, DC Area Cavalier Spaniel Meet-Up Group