Published: 19 August 2016

Heatstroke normally happens when a dog loses his inbuilt ability to regulate his body temperature. Dogs do not sweat all over their bodies the way humans do. Their body temperature is chiefly regulated by respiration such as panting. If a dog’s respiratory tract fails to clear heat quickly enough, heatstroke may take place.

Signs of heat stroke you may notice

  • Hyperventilation,
  • Excessive panting,
  • In extreme cases breathing can slow down, fitting can occur
  • Dry gums that become pale,
  • Increased salivation,
  • Erratic or rapid pulse,
  • Confusion,
  • Weakness,
  • Diarrhoea,
  • Vomiting, and possibly rectal bleeding.

Because overheating can be life-threatening if not treated immediately, noticing the early signs of heat exhaustion will surely reduce the chances of heatstroke and can be fatal.

If you are concerned your pet may have overheated or suffering from heat stroke please contact your vet immediately.

We discuss this and other safety considerations on our First Aid for Dogs course.


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