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The Warning Signs of Heat Exhaustion

The Warning Signs of Heat Exhaustion

The Warning Signs of Heat Exhaustion

Summer is in full swing, which means temperatures are sweltering. If it’s too hot for us, imagine how your pets feel in their fur coats. Even though we want to enjoy the sunshine with our best friends, it’s important to be on the lookout for signs of heat exhaustion.

Some of the signs include:

  • Excessive panting

  • Collapse or convulsions

  • Vomiting or diarrhea

  • Gums or tongue turning blue or bright red

  • Less responsive

  • Glazed eyes

  • Excessive drooling

  • Rapid heart rate

  • Dizziness or lack of coordination

  • Fever

  • Lethargy

If your dog exhibits any of these signs, here’s what you can do:

  • Immediately move him to a cooler area, either indoors with air conditioning or in the shade

  • Check his temperature. If his temperature is above 106, he’s at risk for heat stroke, and you should call your vet immediately.

  • Cool your dog down with cool, wet cloths, or let him go into a pool or lake.

  • Give your dog cool water but don't force it. If he can’t or won’t drink, wet his tongue with water.

  • Get him to the vet. Call ahead so they can provide immediate assistance.

It is important to note that certain dog breeds are more prone to heat exhaustion than others, though all dogs can suffer from it if the conditions are right. In high heats, pay special attention to brachycephalic breeds (dogs with short noses and flat faces: shih tzus, pugs, boxers and bulldogs), working and hunting breeds (shepherds, retrievers and spaniels), dogs with thick coats or long hair, very young or very old dogs, overweight dogs and dogs with medical conditions.