Yesterday we discussed the signs of heat stroke in dogs. Today we will talk about what to do if you suspect your dog may have heat stroke.
First get the dog out of the sun/heat immediately. Ideally you take your dog’s rectal temperature every 10 minutes to monitor body temperature. If it is above 103 you should take your dog to the vet immediately as this should be considered an emergency! If below 103, you can place the dog in cool, not icy water. Icy water may cause the blood vessels to constrict and inadvertently keep the body from cooling. You can also place a fan in front of the dog to aid in cooling. Do not put wet towels on the dog though since this may actually trap body heat as the towels become room temperature.
You should continue cooling your dog until the body temperature reaches 103. At that point the body should be able to continue cooling itself. However you should still make a trip to the vet to be sure no other internal organ damage was done and that the dog does not have an irregular heartbeat or seizures, which can still occur for several hours or days after an episode.
Ultimately you want to avoid a potential episode altogether. What are some ways you can help your dog avoid heat stroke?
As your Mesa pet sitter, we want you to be aware of the warning signs and treatment for this potentially fatal issue affecting us here in Arizona. Keep your dogs hydrated and cool so they have many happy years with you.