Heatstroke is one of the more common emergencies you may encounter. Caused by increased environmental temperatures (among other factors), heatstroke can be life threatening. It is important to be aware of the steps below so that you can recognize the signs of heatstroke and also know what to do if it happens to an animal in your care.
Be aware of the temperature. It helps to know what the temperature is at the time of the dog’s symptoms. You may want to write down the temperature as well as the conditions (ie: direct sunlight) and the dog’s activity level prior to and at the start of symptoms so that you can communicate this information to a veterinarian.
Watch for initial heat stroke symptoms. Catching a heat stroke in its early stages can help prevent permanent damage to your dog’s internal organs. Some early signs of heat stroke include:
Look out for signs of worsening heat stroke. The dog’s heat stroke can be worsening if he begins to exhibit any of the following:
Take the dog’s temperature. One of the best ways to assess whether the dog’s internal temperature is elevated is to take his temperature rectally. A dog’s temperature is normally between 99.5 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. A dog is overheated if his temperature is 103 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. A temperature of 109 °F (42.8 °C) is usually fatal.