Every year, too many dogs suffer and die from preventable cases of Heat Stroke. It happens in hot cars, while out exercising, on airplanes, and in a variety of other situations. What they all have in common though, along with the heartbreaking nature of these cases, is that the overwhelming majority of these tragedies can be prevented.
Together we can make a difference and stop these senseless and preventable deaths, as well as the anger, heartbreak, and suffering they leave behind.
How to Treat Heat Stroke
What to do:
- Remove pet from hot environment. Seek shade immediately.
- Offer a small amount of cool water to drink. Do not let the dog drink too much water too fast.
- Check pet’s rectal temperature. Obviously, you need a thermometer. Check out this video to see how to take your dog’s temperature. If no thermometer is available, offer shallow water to drink and pour cool water over the dog’s coat, then proceed immediately to the vet.
- Run cool (not cold) water over dog’s entire coat. If there is no hose available, you can place cool, wet rags over the inside of the dog’s thighs – though, in the absence of running water, this will be a less effective means of cooling an overheated dog.
- Check pet’s rectal temperature every 30-60 seconds. Make sure cooling is progressing at a safe rate. Stop active cooling measures once rectal temperature reaches 103.5°F / 39.8°C.
- Proceed directly to a veterinarian for further evaluation and care. VERY IMPORTANT!
What NOT to do:
- Do NOT force the dog to drink water or pour water into their mouth.
- Do NOT use ice or extremely cold water, including the use of ice packs.
- Do NOT submerge dog in water.
- Do NOT cool the pet off too fast.
- Do NOT skip the trip to the vet. Temperatures can rebound to spike again, and damage to internal organs may already be present.