What You Need To Know About Heat Stroke In Dogs.

Heat stroke in dogs

Heat stroke in dogs is a life threatening condition that requires immediate veterinary care to prevent death.  Dr. Coffin offers information for you to become familiar with the signs and symptoms of heat stroke.  Learn measures you can take to help prevent and treat heat stroke in dogs.

Hundreds of heat-related deaths occur in humans each year in the United States.  Heat is one of the leading weather related killers in the United States.  In Guthrie, Oklahoma the staff at Guthrie Pet Hospital treats multiple cases every year.  Although there are no statistics for heat related deaths in pets, Dr. Coffin suspect there are several hundred that die every year from this preventable problem.

Dogs and cats have a higher normal body temperature than humans.  Normal temperature for a healthy dog and cat is anything between 100-102 degrees Fahrenheit.  A temperature over 105 degrees Fahrenheit is considered a medical emergency. 

Guthrie Pet Hospital team members warn puppy, kitten, and geriatric/senior pet owners along with breeds with short noses, like Pugs and Bulldogs, to restrict activity outside.  These animals are more prone to developing heat stroke. Overweight pets and animals with heart or respiratory problems are also more susceptible to heat stroke.

Signs of heat stroke in dogs:

  • Excessive panting
  • Excessive salivation
  • High fever
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Fatigue
  • Collapse
  • Seizures

Prevention:  Guthrie Pet Hospital team members offer this rule of thumb:  If it is too hot outside for you, then it is too hot outside for your pet.

  • Provide plenty of shade
  • Provide plenty of water
  • Do not leave your pet in a parked vehicle.  Watch how fast a parked car can heat up:  


  • Immediately remove from the environment into a shaded or cool area
  • Lukewarm bath (Do not use cold water or ice as this will cause superficial vessels to constrict and cause the cooling process to slow down)
  • Place wet towels on neck, armpit, and groin
  • Swab isopropyl alcohol on the ear flaps and paws will help speed up the cooling process
  • Directing a fan at your dog
  • After initiation of above steps to start the cooling process, transport your dog to Guthrie Pet Hospital for immediate treatment.


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