If your pet starts to retch and vomit, this can be a sign that the body temperature is reaching 109 degrees Fahrenheit. Soon after, the dog will go into shock, followed by possible seizures and a loss of consciousness. These are all serious signs and the dog must see a vet immediately – this is an EMERGENCY! Even at the earliest stage of heat stroke, you may be fighting for your dog’s life. If not treated immediately, these symptoms can be followed in minutes by collapse, seizures, coma, and death. If untreated, SEVERE HYPERTHERMIA (heat stroke) results in kidney, liver and/or heart failure. Dogs who are treated after a significant delay may survive, but could be left with permanent effects such as blood clotting disorders, metabolic abnormalities, muscle damage, and/or brain dysfunction, etc.
This is a life threatening situation and needs immediate vet attention. There are a few things you can do if your vet has to call you back or on the way to the vet’s surgery:
- Immediately move the dog to a cooler area. Place the dog in a shady area or put a large umbrella over him/her
- Offer the dog small amounts of water (too much water may cause the dog to vomit and add to your pet’s dehydration)
- If the dog will not drink of his/her own accord, then wipe the mouth area with a clean, wet cloth
- Sponge down the whole body, including tummy and groin area with COOL, not cold water. Cold water will cause blood vessels to constrict and will stop the heat from escaping. This could send your dog into shock from the sudden drop in body temperature
- NEVER throw buckets of water over the dog, or throw him/her into cold water, as these actions will almost certainly put the dog into shock, making the situation far worse than it already is!
- If you do not have an electric fan, improvise one with a towel or something that will cause a draft around the wet dog; however, do not do anything that might panic him/her unnecessarily. Fanning the dog will help to cool him/her through the process of evaporation. If the dog has collapsed, continue with the above steps until professional help arrives. Be prepared to carry out cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) should it become necessary
REMEMBER, AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION IS WORTH A POUND OF CURE IN THE CASE OF HEAT STROKE.,,,,,,DO NOT TAKE CHANCES IN HOT WEATHER – IT IS NOT WORTH THE RISK!!!