Heat stroke, Heat stroke vs Heat exhaustion, Manifestation of heat stroke ,Heat stroke in dogs, Symptoms, Treatment, Prevention, Recovery
Animals don't respond to heat like humans because humans have various sweat glands while they have only a few located in their paws and noses. Most commonly pets release heat through panting. Sometimes they cannot release heat properly and heat-related illness occurs in them called Hyperthermia. Hyperthermia is another name for heat stroke in which body temperature increases above 39.0 degrees Celsius/104 Fahrenheit above it. This condition is most common in the warm months of the year, but it can occur at any time of the year. On the other hand, the less severe form of heat stroke is known as Heat Exhaustion. It is milder than heat stroke but can turn into a severe form if not treated properly.
There are various factors that cause the prevalence of heat stroke in dogs, but the most contributing ones are environmental conditions, the breed of dog, and or any preexisting medical condition.
Environmental conditions that contribute to heat stroke are • High temperature or high humidity in the surroundings can lead to heat stroke in dogs. • Lack of proper airflow in the surrounding cause suffocation in the pets and develops conditions like panting. • Confining them to places where access to fresh and cool water is not reachable leads to dehydration in dogs. • Excessive exercise, particularly in the warm weather can cause heavy breathing and panting in dogs. • No access to shade and continuous exposure to hot weather can cause fast heart rate in animals.
Although all pets are at risk of heat stroke there are few that are more prone to others due to: • Youngest and oldest dogs are more susceptible to heat stroke than the other age groups. • Thick fur retains more heat which causes high temperature in the dogs. • Obesity is the most contributing factor as heavy-weight dogs are more prone to illnesses as compared to others. • Hyperactive pets are more vulnerable because they are exerting more energy in hot surroundings. • Respiratory issues, cardiovascular problems, or any preexisting medical condition can contribute to heat stroke. • Animals with restricted or no access to water are likely to suffer from dehydration. All these conditions can contribute if animals are not living or being kept in places that are not adaptable to their body temperature. To avoid this, it is necessary to ensure animals are residing in cool and shaded and shaded areas with plenty of water, particularly in warm weather.
There are several symptoms of heat stroke in dogs and if it isn't treated quickly or properly can lead to the death of the pet. The most common symptoms include: • Vomiting (it may be bloody) • High body temperature • Diarrhea • Unconsciousness • Dizziness • Panting • Collapsing • Increase of heart rate • Dark color of gums Sometimes it can lead to severe conditions like kidney failure, brain swelling, and blood clotting so preventing this immediate treatment is essential.
It is a life-threatening condition in pets, and it requires immediate treatment to raise the chances of survival. If you feel your pet is having any of the symptoms of heat stroke, first check the temperature of the pet with a thermometer (rectal thermometer) to assess the temperature and call the veterinarian until the veterinarian comes, be sure to remove your dog from the hot surroundings. Move the pet to an air-conditioned or cool place and start wetting them gradually until their body temperature gets back to normalcy. Don’t use an ice bath in a rush because it can cause contraction of blood vessels which can reduce the cooling ability of the pet. Instead, place a wet towel beneath your pet so that they can lie on it. If they are conscious let them drink as much water as much, they want but don’t use cold water which is dangerous. Check the temperature after every 30 to 60 seconds and stop cooling measures as soon as the temperature drops below 103.5F.
Even if you feel that your dog has started feeling bad, still you need to see our vet to examine your pet critically. Treatment of heat stroke includes intravenous fluid therapy to fill the deficiency of fluids and minerals in pets. The goal is to lower the temperature of the pet to prevent to restore tissue perfusion. Further treatment involves active cooling, oxygen supplements, antibiotics to protect the gut, anti-seizure medication, and fresh frozen plasma. Moreover, if the veterinarian finds it appropriate, he will examine other complications like kidney functioning, and neurological development because organ dysfunction is the hallmark of heat stroke.
Heat stroke is preventable. If you have a pet, it is important to be well aware of the outside temperature and humidity conditions to prevent any type of abnormality in your pet. It is important to take preventive measures in the hot and humid environment and avoid exercise during the warmest hours of the day. Whenever your pet is out playing make sure your dog has access to plenty of water and is in the shade. Always keep your pet in crates that have good ventilation, particularly when you are traveling, and never leave them in closed windows.
Heat stroke can cause widespread damage to the pet, but early diagnosis and treatment can prevent your pet from any severe damage and also increase the survival chances. Although recovery of dogs is directly related to how long temperature has remained elevated and how quickly they arrive at hospitals. The most critical condition is when the body temperature reaches 109F which leads to dysfunction of major organs and reduces the chance of recovery. If the dog survives the first 24 hours will live but will be examined for 2-3 days. Once they are discharged, they will take extra care to make a full recovery. However, pets that survive heat stroke are more prone to the same condition in the future.