The weather seems to be getting hotter. Have you noticed how often we have had top temperatures of 34C or 35C recently? One day it even hit 36C. With increasing temperatures, it is even more important than before to help your dog avoid heatstroke.
Heatstroke is a condition that develops gradually at first but accelerates quickly. It is easy to miss the early signs then it “suddenly” becomes an emergency situation. Typical signs are:-
excessive panting, high body temperature, dehydration, red membranes in the mouth and eyes, rapid, irregular heart rate, diarrhoea, weakness, looking dazed, going into a coma then death. If your dog shows signs of heatstroke you must get him to the veterinarian immediately. As a First Aid measure, hose down the dog to reduce the body temperature.
Avoid putting your dog in situations where he might get heatstroke in the first place. A dog who lives in the yard must have adequate shelter and a good supply of drinking water. A large bucket, secured so that it cannot be knocked over, should be provided and the water replenished at least in the morning and evening. The dog should not be confined in a hot, airless kennel.
Never leave your dog in the car – even with windows partially open. Your dog can get heatstroke if carried in the tray of a pick-up, especially if you are caught in a traffic jam. Only recently an animal lover wrote to the papers describing the distress of an animal tied in the back of a pick-up in the midday heat.
Care must also be taken when exercising your dog, or participating in shows, as there may not be adequate shelter available.
Remember, if your dog shows any signs of heatstroke, get to a vet right away. Without help he will die. It is all too easy to loose a beloved pet if you delay.