Monday, July 11, 2011

Heat Stroke in Dogs

Just a couple of weeks ago there was a story in the KTLA news about a 19-year-old woman from China shopping at the local Ontario Mills mall.  She locked her 1-year-old golden retriever in the car while she went shopping, and it is believed the dog was stuck in the car for 3 hours.  The outdoor temperature was in the 90’s that day and security found the car with the windows rolled up and foggy.  They got the dog out and rushed him to the vet where he had to be euthanized because there was too much brain damage.
This story shocked me and made me sad that someone could be so irresponsible with another life.  Whether or not this was an accident (a visitor un-aware of local temperatures norms) we see dogs waiting in cars all the time.  Hopefully everyone at least puts the windows down enough to bring in fresh air.  But ask yourself, how many times have you just run into the store “real quick” and ended up taking longer than you planned?  You never know when a 5 minute milk dash will turn into a 20 minute cash register dilemma.  So let’s learn a little bit about heat stroke in dogs….
Not so fun fact: If the temperature is 84˚F outside, the inside of a car reaches 98˚F- with all four windows cracked.  If the temperature is 90˚F outside, the inside of a car reaches 108˚F- with all four windows cracks.  Now imagine sitting in the car with a ski jacket on.
What is Heat Stroke?
A dog’s body temperature ranges between 100.4˚F - 102.5˚F. Heat stroke happens when a dog can no longer keep his normal body temperature (and the thicker the coat, the more quickly his temperature will rise).   Dogs don’t sweat like humans.  They pant to regulate their body temperature by releasing heat through their tongue and “sweat” out of their nose and foot pads.
What are some symptoms of heat stroke?
If your dog is experiencing heat stroke he may show signs of heavy panting, gasping, bright read or suddenly bluish gums, vomiting, disorientation, foam around the mouth (or thick saliva), increased heart rate, inability to drink and he may collapse, become unconscious, or even die.  
Check out Part 2 for more information on what to do if your dog is experiencing a heat stroke and how to avoid one entirely.

No comments:

Post a Comment