Overheating in a Dog

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Rapid or heavy breathing may be a sign of trouble during the summer heat. (By: miggslives)

Dogs are not as good as people at shedding excess heat. Take general care during hot and summer weather that your dog does not get too hot. Make sure shade and water is available and that there is some fresh air.

Do not leave your dog in a car on a hot day. Cars heat up much more quickly than you’d think, and that one inch or so of open window will not help. If you park in the shade, the sun may move more quickly than you think.

A water-filled pump sprayer can help keep your dog cool. But your best bet is to prevent overheating.

Heatstroke is indicated by some or more of the following symptoms:

  • Rapid or heavy breathing
  • Bright red tongue
  • Thick saliva
  • Vomiting
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Unsteadiness
  • Hot, dry nose
  • Legs, ears hot to touch
  • Extreme: glassy-eyed, gray lips

Wet the dog down gradually using cool, not cold water. Get them out of direct sunlight. Give them a little cool water to drink at a time. Cold compresses to the belly and groin help. Get your dog to the veterinarian.

A dog who has had heatstroke before can be prone to getting it again.

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