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Heatwave: How to keep your dogs cool and avoid heat stroke

Sean MacEntee/Flickr

It is summer and heatwave conditions have been forecasted. Humans are not the only ones vulnerable to a heat stroke, dogs can also succumb to a heat stroke. So, for those who have pet dogs, better watch out for them as well.

When your dog is no longer able to regulate its temperature through panting, it can suffer heatstroke which could lead to other medical conditions such as organ failures, brain damage, hemorrhage, blindness, seizures, convulsions, and worse, it could die.

The best way that dogs can regulate their temperature is through panting as they can only sweat through their paws.

Aside from heatstroke, your dog could also suffer from sunburn, dehydration, and foot pad burns during the hot weather. Although these conditions are easier to handle than if your dog will be suffering a heat stroke.

Signs that you should look out for that would tell you that your dog is suffering from the early stages of heat stroke that is known as heat exhaustion are rapid panting, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea and reddening of the skin inside the ears.

If you notice your dog suffering from these symptoms, immediately bring it to a cool area and offer freshwater. Also, dampen it with water, make sure it is lukewarm and allow it to air dry.

While these are signs to look out for heatstroke in dogs—rapid panting, bright red tongue, red or pale gums, thick and sticky saliva, depression, weakness and dizziness, vomiting (sometimes with blood), diarrhea, shock, and coma.

If you see these signs, you have to act immediately so your dog can still be saved. Immediately bring it to a cooler area and wet it thoroughly with cool to room temperature water. Do not use ice or very cold water as it may trigger other conditions that could also be life-threatening. You also have to make sure there is air movement.

Once you see your dog starting to recover, immediately bring it to the veterinarian. Your dog may have recovered, but it is still imperative to have it checked by the veterinarian to see the extent of damage caused by the heat.

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