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Heat stroke in dogs

Marie-Hélène Cloutier

Our animals are also susceptible to heat stroke in the summer. This condition can appear quickly and can even be fatal, so it's important to react quickly.

But first of all, what is heat stroke? It's about the increase in body temperature. In dogs, the normal temperature is around 38-39.5 ºC, so we speak of heat stroke when the temperature rises above 40-41ºC..

Several factors can lead to heatstroke, such as being in a car that is too hot, exercising too intense or prolonged, hot and humid days, especially if the animal does not have enough water.

It is also important to know that dogs do not sweat like us to regulate their temperature. Their only means, therefore, is breathing. So some types of dogs with flat noses are more susceptible to heatstroke, since they are less ventilated. Dogs with a pathology may also be at greater risk of heat stroke (overweight, seizures, etc.).

It is therefore important to monitor your pet, especially the appearance of the following symptoms. A dog suffering from heatstroke will start to pant loudly (breathing) and faster and faster. Obviously his body temperature will rise. He may also drool, making him more dehydrated, which can cause him to vomit. It can also create weaknesses in the body, thus shaking, loss of balance, leading to seizures and ultimately loss of consciousness.

If your dog develops heat stroke it is therefore important to lower his temperature quickly. To do this, install it in a cooler, shaded and well-ventilated place (you can use a fan). Place a wet, cold towel over his head and body. Be careful not to put too cold water or ice as this could make the situation worse. Stop as soon as the temperature returns to normal, ie around 39.5-39ºC. Obviously, give her fresh water, but not too cold.

If her condition does not improve quickly, see your veterinarian. Heat stroke can bring significant complications that should not be overlooked!

In short, it is wiser to prevent than to cure heat stroke, so do not take a change and avoid leaving your dog in a car in summer, even with the window open !!! Make sure he has access to water at all times and in a shady spot. And finally, avoid strenuous activities on hot days!


Have a good summer everyone!

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