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Heat Stroke in Dogs

As we approach 100 degree days in Texas, heat exhaustion and heat stroke in pets while they are outdoors can be a major concern. It’s important for pet owners to not only know the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke, but to take measures to keep their pet safe from experiencing these heat-related illnesses

Know the Signs: 

The symptoms of heatstroke listed in the accompanying infogrpahic are not in order of occurrence but are all symptoms that could be present when your pet is experiencing heat exhaustion. Dogs can experience any combination of these symptoms, and since our furry friends can’t speak to tell us what’s wrong, we must stay observant as pet parents.

Heat exhaustion and stroke are not limited to dogs who live outdoors, any pet who is outside or exposed to extreme temperatures for extended periods is at risk. However, there are some things you can do to help! 

Beat the Heat:

Any temperature of 80 degrees Fahrenheit or more has the potential to be dangerous for your pup. So, it’s important to ensure that they have access to plenty of drinking water, shade, and a place to get their body wet, if possible, anytime your pet is going to be outdoors during warmer temperatures for an extended time. 

Additionally, make sure your pet can pant to cool off. Panting is one of the main ways that dogs cool off and regulate their internal body temperature. Using nylon muzzles during the heat could prevent your pet from being able to pant while outdoors, which is okay for a short time, but not recommended for longer stints outdoors. If your pet has aggressive tendencies and will need to be outdoors for an extended period, consider investing in a basket muzzle so that your pup is still able to pant, but still doesn’t have the freedom to bite at will.

When possible, avoid the heat and stay indoors. 

At TCAP’s walk-in vaccine events, we have divided clients into groups of 5-10 clients and worked to beat the heat by allowing pet owners to wait in their car with their pets, in the air conditioning, until we are ready to serve their group. We have also outfitted many of our clinics with indoor waiting areas for our lines. We hope to see your pet at one of our low-cost North Texas vaccine events near you.  

Take Action & Seek Help: 

When you notice your pet is getting hot, it’s important to take action to mitigate the progression of heat-related illness. Fifteen minutes or more of an internal temperature of 104 degrees Fahrenheit or higher can lead to seizures, coma, collapse, organ failure, and even death for your pup. If your pet experiences the above-mentioned symptoms seek veterinary care for your dog immediately at your full-service vet. 

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