Heat exhaustion and dogs

Heat exhaustion can be a serious concern for dogs during the summer months. Here are some signs to look out for that may indicate heat exhaustion in your dog:

  1. Excessive panting: Dogs regulate their body temperature through panting, but if they are panting excessively and unable to calm down, it could be a sign of heat exhaustion.

  2. Increased drooling: Heat-stressed dogs may drool excessively, with saliva appearing thicker and stickier than usual.

  3. Weakness and lethargy: Your dog may appear tired, weak, or unsteady on their feet. They may be less responsive or unwilling to move.

  4. Rapid breathing or difficulty breathing: Shallow, rapid, or labored breathing can be a sign of heat exhaustion.

  5. Vomiting or diarrhea: Heat exhaustion can lead to gastrointestinal upset, resulting in vomiting or diarrhea.

  6. Bright red gums and tongue: Check your dog's gums and tongue. If they appear bright red, it may indicate heat exhaustion.

  7. Dizziness or disorientation: Your dog may seem dizzy, disoriented, or have difficulty maintaining their balance.

  8. Tremors or seizures: In severe cases, heat exhaustion can lead to muscle tremors or even seizures.

If you suspect your dog has heat exhaustion, it's crucial to take immediate action. Here's what you can do:

  1. Move your dog to a cool area: Take them to a shaded or air-conditioned spot immediately.

  2. Provide cool water: Offer your dog cool, but not icy, water to drink. Don't force them to drink, but encourage them to stay hydrated.

  3. Cool their body: Apply cool (not cold) water to your dog's body. You can use wet towels or immerse them in a shallow, cool bath. Focus on their neck, belly, and paw pads.

  4. Use fans or air conditioning: Increase air circulation around your dog by using fans or turning on the air conditioning.

  5. Contact a veterinarian: Even if your dog appears to be recovering, it's important to seek veterinary attention. Heat exhaustion can escalate to heatstroke, which is a life-threatening emergency.

Remember, prevention is key. Avoid exercising your dog during the hottest parts of the day, provide access to shade and fresh water at all times, and never leave your dog unattended in a hot car.

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