Open 24/7
CALL US AT: (954) 428-9888
Open 24/7
CALL US AT: (954) 428-9888

Heatstroke in Dogs: Understanding the Signs, Symptoms, and Treatments

emergency heatstroke vet

As summer temperatures soar, the risk of heatstroke in our furry friends significantly increases. At the Animal Emergency and Urgent Care Center (AEUCC), we understand the urgency of recognizing and treating heatstroke in dogs. This serious condition can escalate rapidly and requires immediate medical attention. Located in Deerfield Beach and serving communities including Boca Raton, Coral Springs, Margate, Parkland, Fort Lauderdale, and Pompano, AEUCC is your go-to emergency vet for rapid and effective treatment.

What is Heatstroke?

Heatstroke occurs when a dog’s body temperature rises to a dangerous level (above 103°F), impairing its ability to regulate its own body heat. This can lead to severe health issues or even be fatal if not treated promptly. Dogs do not sweat through their skin like humans; they primarily cool down by panting and through sweat glands in their paw pads. However, these methods are not always sufficient in extreme heat.

Signs and Symptoms of Heatstroke in Dogs

Recognizing the signs of heatstroke in your pet can be life-saving. Here are the most common symptoms to watch for:

  • Excessive panting and drooling: These are often the first signs of heatstroke. The panting may become increasingly intense and sound more strained as the condition worsens.
  • Reddened gums and moist tissues of the body: As the dog’s body temperature rises, their gums may turn bright red due to increased blood flow.
  • Vomiting and diarrhea: Often, these will have blood in them.
  • Disorientation or lethargy: Dogs suffering from heatstroke might appear dizzy, stumble, or seem unusually sluggish.
  • Rapid heartbeat: Heart rates increase as the body tries to cool down.
  • Seizures: Severe cases may result in convulsions.
  • Collapse: In advanced stages, dogs might collapse and be unable to stand.

Immediate Actions to Take

If you suspect your dog is suffering from heatstroke, immediate action is crucial. Here are steps you should take right away:

  1. Move your dog to a shaded or air-conditioned area immediately.
  2. Apply cool (not cold) water to the body. Especially to the areas around the head, neck, and chest. Use wet towels or any available fabric.
  3. Offer small amounts of cool water to drink.
  4. Do not use ice-cold water or ice. This can worsen the situation by causing blood vessels to constrict, which slows down the cooling process.
  5. Contact an emergency heatstroke vet immediately.

Treatment at AEUCC

At the Animal Emergency and Urgent Care Center, our experienced team is equipped with the necessary tools and knowledge to treat heatstroke rapidly and effectively. Treatment may include:

  • Intravenous (IV) fluids: To cool the body internally and prevent or treat dehydration.
  • Oxygen therapy: To ensure your pet is getting enough oxygen.
  • Medication: Depending on the severity, medications to prevent or treat secondary complications such as brain swelling may be administered.
  • Continuous monitoring: Temperature and vital signs are monitored closely to ensure safe recovery.

Prevention is Key

Preventing heatstroke is always better than having to treat it. Here are some tips to help keep your dog safe during hot weather:

  • Provide plenty of fresh water and shade.
  • Avoid exercising your dog in the peak heat of the day. Opt for early morning or late evening when it’s cooler.
  • Never leave your pet in a parked car. Even with the windows open, temperatures can rise rapidly to dangerous levels.
  • Consider a cooling vest or mat. These can help keep your dog comfortable during hot days.

Our Emergency Heatstroke Vet is Here to Help

If you suspect your dog is experiencing signs of heatstroke, it is a medical emergency and it’s important you contact an emergency heatstroke vet right immediately. Contact the Animal Emergency and Urgent Care Center immediately. Although our office is located in Deerfield Beach, we proudly serve Boca Raton, Coral Springs, Deerfield Beach, Margate, Parkland, Fort Lauderdale, and Pompano. Our dedicated staff at AEUCC, a leading Boca Raton emergency vet, is here to provide the urgent care your pet needs.

Stay vigilant and keep your pets safe and cool during the hot months. For any emergencies or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at the Animal Emergency and Urgent Care Center. Call us today at (954 )428-9888.

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