Heatstroke is a type of non-fever hyperthermia which is caused by increased body temperature. It’s a very serious, life-threatening condition and it can cause damage to your pet’s internal organs – sometimes to the point where they stop functioning.
Unlike humans, dogs don’t have sweat glands all over their bodies. Instead, they have only a few in their feet and around their noses. This means they cannot regulate heat in the way that we can.
Dogs, and many other animals, rely on panting and external cooling to lose heat. They also rely on being in a cool, well-ventilated and shaded environment with access to clean drinking water.
All animals are susceptible to heatstroke so you need to make sure that you take active steps to prevent it.
Signs may vary between individuals, but commonly include:
Avoiding heatstroke for your pet
You can help to prevent heatstroke by ensuring your pets are kept in appropriate environmental conditions and being aware of the symptoms so action can be taken swiftly.
Vets are trained to assess the severity of the heatstroke and then provide emergency medical treatment as required. They will check your pet’s body temperature and vital signs and then instigate emergency treatment which may include:
Other exacerbating factors can include: