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Signs Of Heat Related Illness In Your Dog

Signs Of Heat Related Illness In Your Dog

Signs of heatstroke in dogs

Once the rainy season is over, Vancouver can get hot pretty quickly. Dogs can’t put on sunscreen, and clothes will probably add to their internal temperature. So, what can you do to make sure your dog isn’t suffering? Check out our other articles to help keep your dog cool. But while you’re working on that, here’s a list of symptoms to keep an eye on if you’re concerned about heat-related illnesses.


It’s common for your dog to not have enough water, but this level of dehydration can be deadly. Common symptoms to look out for are: dry mouth, sticky gums, loss of appetite, sunken eyes, lethargy, and shock.

Paw Pad Burns

You might notice that your dog prefers to walk on grass or in wet areas more than the pavement or sidewalk you’re walking on. You should check the temperature of the road before you walk on it. Because you have shoes, you won’t be as affected by the heat transfer. But for your dog, it’s much more intense. If you start to notice symptoms like: refusing to walk, laying down, licking their feet, discolouration on the paw, blistering, and even redness, stop walking your dog immediately. Take them home, and allow them to rest to see if their symptoms subside. If they consist of longer periods, bring your dog to the vet for treatment.

Dog Boarding

Heat Stroke

When your dog’s temperature is higher than usual, they can’t process bodily functions properly. This can lead to organ failure and even larger health risks. Note important signs like rapid panting, bright red or pale gums, thick saliva, vomiting, seizures, and dark diarrhea. These are all symptoms of heatstroke, which must be treated as soon as the symptoms are recognized.

There are a lot more factors that can increase the risk of heat-related illnesses in your dog, like obesity, age, environment, and even their breed. Every dog is different, and you don’t want to miss signs of your dog suffering. Do what you can to prevent heat-related illness, and help your dog stay happy and healthy. If you find your dog is experiencing these symptoms, contact your vet immediately.


doggie enjoys a bath at jet pet north shore courtyard

Commonly asked questions by dog owners:

How do you treat heatstroke in dogs?

Once you notice the signs of heatstroke in a dog -like heavy panting or excessive drooling- you will have to provide the basic first aid to your dog to avoid any emergency. The dog should immediately be moved to a shaded place away from sunlight. Secondly, place wet towels on the dog’s skin to cool him down, if possible, you can drizzle cool water on him too.

Can a dog survive heatstroke?

The survival of your pooch after a heat stroke depends on the intensity of the stroke. If the dog’s temperature continues to rise above 103° F, he is at a serious risk of organ failure. And once the vital organs are shut down, there is no coming back and the damage is already done. Most dogs don’t cope with a heat stroke but if your pup is lucky enough, a 24-48 hour period is crucial to completely recover from the stroke.

What causes heatstroke in a dog?

There are a lot of reasons that can lead to a stroke in dogs but the primary reason is lack of responsibility for the owners.–Longer periods of time in a car, shortage of proper shade in the sun, improper grooming– all these actions can cause an elevation in the dog’s temperature. Other factors that can cause a heatstroke can be obesity, old age and underlying medical conditions.

What happens to a dog with heatstroke?

When a dog experiences excessive hyperthermia, there is a high chance of getting a heat stroke. The heatstroke can be mild to severe and the symptoms are according to the severity of the stroke. Dogs with mild heat exhaustion develop heavy panting, increased drooling with thick saliva and fever, so it’s important to keep your dog cool throughout summer. In the case of severe heatstroke, the dog’s gums would turn reddish-grey or bluish, he will start to vomit and eventually he will develop seizures and tremors.


What about my cat? Read more about our cat summer care tips.


Article repurposed by: Alyssa Castle

Original Article: Symptoms Of Heat-Related Illnesses

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