5 Things An Animal Needs To Survive In Its Habitat Differences Between Heat Exhaustion, Heat Prostration and Heat Stroke

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Differences Between Heat Exhaustion, Heat Prostration and Heat Stroke

Hyperthermia is an increase in body temperature, primarily in response to illness or the environment. Excessive heat and humidity are a deadly combination for man and animal! This is especially true for dogs that are not used to it.

Many of them have the impression that dogs do not sweat. This is not true. However, where and how much they sweat is not enough to cool them down when they are anxious. Dogs barely sweat their paws. A sign of an overheated dog’s wet paw prints.

The most effective way for a dog to cool down is panting; especially if they do not have access to water, fans, air conditioning or shade.

Being outside between 10am and 4pm is especially dangerous for dogs. Being the hottest hours of the day; most dogs suffering from hyperthermia are affected during those 6 hours.

Prevention is the main objective. However, this is not always possible. Below are the stages of progression in heat stroke. The sooner you realize your dog is in distress and take action, the better the chances of survival.

You have less than 10 minutes to check your dog’s temperature if he has suffered from heat exhaustion. Anything above 103 degrees is dangerous. A body temperature above 105 degrees for more than 5 minutes is potentially fatal.

Focus on cooling the main areas, which are their chest, underarm, groin and paw pads.

Heat exhaustion

The first stage of overheating is called heat exhaustion. Symptoms include: labored breathing, tiredness, heavy breathing, increased drooling and salivation, fast heart rate, wet paws, anxiety, whining, disoriented, lethargic, dehydrated and/or bright red gums, tongue, inner ear and/or the whites of their eyes. .

Prostration with heat

The second state is heat prostration. Signs include: shallow breathing, fluctuating and labored breathing, dry mouth, glassy eyes, unfocused, unresponsive to commands, pale/grey gums, confusion, unsteady due to lack of muscle control , diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration and/or sometimes bleeding. Immediate veterinary attention is recommended. Call your vet and let them know you’re on the way so they can prepare for emergency action.

Heat stroke

The third and possibly fatal stage is heatstroke. Signs include: pale, gray gums, loss of consciousness, distress, shortness of breath or shortness of breath, respiratory arrest, tremors, seizures, lethargy, dehydrated, thick sticky saliva, vomiting, loss of bladder/bowel control, bleeding, coma and death. If the dog’s body temperature is over 104 degrees, you have 5 minutes to get them to the nearest vet. If possible, call them so that they are prepared to take immediate action.

Helpful tips to prevent hyperthermia

– Keep your dog inside from 10am to 4pm as much as possible.

– Keep your dog well hydrated. Always make sure more than one bucket or bowl of fresh water is available at all times.

– A shaded kiddie pool with 2 inches of water not only gives your dog access to drinking water; it’s a fun way to wind down quickly.

– Do the pinch test. Pinch the skin between their shoulders. If it does not immediately return to the site, dehydration has begun.

– Lift your dog’s lip; press your index finger on their gums until it turns white. Release. If it doesn’t turn pink immediately, your dog is dehydrated.

– Add ¼ cup of Gatorade or Pedialyte to their buckets of water. They need extra electrolytes. Encourage them to drink, but only in small amounts at a time.

– If your dog is overheated, do not let him drink water too quickly, or give him ice cold water. It can cause vomiting, which will only worsen their dehydration.

– Walk and exercise your dog moderately only during the cooler hours of the day.

– Carry water and collapsible bowls on long walks.

– Keep water and a bowl in your vehicle.

– Provide a sprinkler in a low setting or sit your dog down periodically.

– Provide plenty of shade.

– Do not leave the dog outside without supervision for more than half an hour when the weather is hot and humid.

– Give your dog ice cube treats or an ice block made with a combination of water and Gatorade or Pedialyte to play with. Simple ice cubes work too!

– Use a cooling collar during walks. They are available at pet stores and online.

– Provide a cooling mattress in summer. They are available at pet stores and online.

– Take care of your dog. Dyed hair retains body heat.

– Dark-haired dogs need extra care when in direct sunlight. Invite them periodically.

– Keep their weight under control. Obese dogs have a harder time keeping cool.

-Never leave a puppy, elderly or sick dog outside unattended.

– Do not lock your pet in an enclosed area such as a garage or plastic crate without adequate ventilation.

– If you have to leave the dog outside during the summer, take the necessary measures. Provide a sock and ask them to hose your dog down periodically. Inform them of the signs to look for and what to do if your dog is distressed.

– If your dog has already suffered from heat-related episodes, be extra vigilant. They are prone to future problems.

What to do if hyperthermia has started

– Do not use ice cold water when treating your dog. It might shock them!

– Keep frozen bags of vegetables on their chest, armpit, groin and paws. Frozen peas or corn work great!

– Wipe the armpits, groin and foot pads with alcohol.

– Immediately put the hose or pour cold water on them. Focus on their chest, underarms, groin and the pads of their feet.

– Put your dog in the tub and wash it with fresh water.

– Place your dog in the shade and if possible on wet grass, a towel or a mat.

– Place ice cubes or gently squeeze from a towel; water mixed with Gatorade or Pedialyte into the corner of the dog’s mouth.

– Place your dog in front of a fan or air conditioner. If possible, wet them or place a wet towel over them.

– Get veterinary care as soon as possible.

– When transporting your dog to the vet, place a wet towel over your dog, place it in the front seat near the air conditioning vent.

Brachycephalic dogs such as Bulldogs, Boxers and Pugs are the most common victims of heat-related problems. With their pushed-in face, short muzzle, and short head, shorter upper airways reduce their ability to exhale hot air and inhale cooler air quickly enough to lower their body temperature.

Examples of breeds prone to heat sensitivity include: Boxer, Shar Pei, Great Dane, Mastiff, Boston Terrier, French Bulldog, English Bulldog, American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, English Bulldog, Pekingese, Chow-Chow, Rottweiler, Collie, Maltese, Pomeranian, Yorkshire Terrier, Basset Hound, Newfoundland, Chin Japanese, Shih Tzu, Bernese Mountain Dog, St. Bernard, Bichon Frise, Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, Border Collie, Clumberland Spaniel and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

Bottom line: Take extra precautions during summer. The combination of heat and humidity is a killer. Err on the side of caution. If you suspect your pet has heat exhaustion, prostration or stroke, don’t waste time. Cool them as soon as possible, focusing on the main areas, and send them to the nearest vet immediately. Even if your dog responds to your treatment, follow up with your vet. Usually, once an animal suffers from heat-related problems, it becomes an ongoing concern.

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