Dogs are much more sensitive to heat than humans partly because they do not possess a thermoregulation mechanism based on perspiration like us. During the summer months we must be very careful with the heat and be aware that they live the high temperatures with greater discomfort, even to be fatal when heat shocks occur. And we must warn that heat strokes are very dangerous and can end the life of a dog in a relatively short time. That is why in this article we are going to indicate the keys to prevent and detect it.
What is a heat stroke?
Dogs fundamentally regulate their body temperature through respiration . They do not perspire like us since they only have sweat glands in the pads so practically all their thermoregulation goes through to increase the respiratory rate. That is why we often see them panting and with their mouths open.
The normal temperature of dogs oscillates between 38-39 ºC. Heat strokes occur when the brain centers responsible for setting in motion the mechanisms that regulate the temperature do not start or are not enough. In those cases the body temperature of the dog can reach 42 degrees endangering their physical integrity.
How do we know that he has a heat stroke?
- We see that he lacks strength, he is down, not wants to move.
- That increases breathing or that it is difficult to breathe.
- That heart rate increases considerably.
- We observed alteration in the color of the gums and nose, as bluish.
- Muscular tremors.
- It can wobble and even get to vomit.
What can we do?
A heat stroke is a veterinary emergency and as such it should be treated. The dog should be taken to the veterinarian with maximum urgency. On the way we can try to moisten the head and neck with water cloths not very cold ; do not cover with the cloth, just moisten to facilitate heat output.
Equally dangerous is to try to lower the temperature at a stroke so it is forbidden to wet it with cold water suddenly.
How to prevent?
After reading the great danger that can pose a heat stroke for our pet we have no doubt that the prevention will be the best way to avoid disappointment . In addition, the measures to avoid them are quite simple and common sense.
- Avoid playing sports in the hottest hours. This point is obligatory, since physical exercise and heat by common sense is very dangerous.
- During walks you can wear a refreshing jacket as in the photograph that helps maintain the regulation of the temperature.
- Do not leave the dog in the car (for many windows that we leave open). A stopped car is a furnace for a dog.
- On long car trips, be attentive to our dog to detect in time a possible increase in body temperature. We will make stops, offer water often and moisten it with a cloth head, gut and armpits (with warm water, never very cold).
- Do not leave the dog in places exposed to the sun (without the possibility of taking refuge under a wide area of shade): terraces, roofs, gardens, etc.
- Provide safe and continuous access to fresh and clean water. In summer the dogs consume more water, so it must be taken into account.
- Give to eat in the hottest hours of the day (at dawn or dusk).
- If your pet have a cardiac or respiratory problem you should know that they are at higher risk and therefore you should protect them more. Consult your veterinarian to rule out decompensation and seek advice.
- Brachiocephalic breeds like the buldog are more predisposed to heat stroke because of their difficulty in breathing so they have to increase precautions.