Do you know that puppies are affected by heatstroke just like humans? It gets even worse during the summer when temperatures go through the roof. Heatstroke and hyperthermia claim lives so as the temperatures increase, so does the risk.
So while you take all care to keep yourself cooled down, it’s important to remember to keep your puppy cool as well. Heatstroke in puppies can easily escalate into a dangerous condition. Puppies are also susceptible to sunburns and dehydration when exposed to high heat.
What is heat stroke?
It refers to an elevation of body heat above normal body temperatures. Though the normal body temperatures in dogs vary, temperatures above 39 degrees Celsius are not normal. It is a non-fever type of hyperthermia and escalates when the mechanisms responsible for dissipating heat cannot accommodate the increased external heat. Heatstroke can lead to the failure of multiple organs.
When should you start to worry?
It is important to keep an eye on your puppy during days that are particularly hot. Indications of heatstroke to watch out for include:
- Difficulty in breathing or panting
- Sudden kidney failure
- Passing small amounts of urine
- Muscle tremors
- Black, tarry stool
- Unconsciousness to a point where the puppy cannot be stimulated to wake up
How to keep your puppy cool
- Make sure that there is plenty of water at your puppy’s disposal at all times. Keep the water cool and fresh.
- If your puppy can’t stay in a conditioned area, place a fan where it will blow on it. This will help cool it.
- If your puppy is long-haired, a trim might help to combat heat stroke.
- Help your puppy cool off in your kids’ paddling pool. A few inches of water in the pool and placing it in the shade will do for this exercise.
- Give your puppy frozen treats to help them cool off.
- Avoid exercising your puppy during the hottest part of the day. Settle instead for morning or evening hours.
- Puppies love sitting in the sun sometimes. Make sure that you provide a shade under which to sit at all times.
- Keep multiple bowls of water at your puppy’s disposal at all times.
How to manage heatstroke
Most of the time, heatstroke can be treated at home by following the same methods of preventing them. Accompany the treatment with the following practices:
- Check the puppy’s rectal temperatures at an interval of intervals until it falls below 39 degrees.
- Move the puppy to a cooler environment once the temperature reaches 40 degrees or less.
- If the puppy’s temperature is still above 40 degrees, consider dipping it in cold water or spraying it with cold water. Wiping its paws with cool water or placing ice on its groin area might also help.
Even if you are sure that you have managed to keep your puppy’s heatstroke symptoms under control, it’s always advisable to visit a veterinarian who can help to treat any conditions that may have arisen due to the heatstroke.