Skip to main navigation Skip to main content

What is heatstroke in dogs?

Heatstroke is when a pet has a body temperature over 105 degrees due to excessive exposure to heat. Dogs can get heatstroke from even short walks on very hot summer days and being kept inside an automobile on hot summer days.

Dogs with short noses, like Bulldogs, Pug dogs, Pekingese, Shih Tzus are more at risk but any breed of dog can be affected. Heat stroke can also occur in cats- on a serious note, be careful not to accidentally close the home clothing dryer with a pet inside.

Symptoms include having a high body temperature (rectal temperature) of over 105 degrees, panting, bloody diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, muscle tremors, seizures, coma, death. Prognosis is guarded to poor. In one study, 64% of patients survived
 
The pet should be seen by a veterinarian immediately. On the way to the vet office or vet ER, the owner can spray cool water on the pet.  Do not apply ice or very rapid cooling because by doing so there is increased risk of complications.
 
On hot and humid summer days, it's best to keep your pet inside in air-conditioning or at least in shade with a fan; do not keep pets inside an automobile unserpervised, even for a few minutes, keep the walks short and take out during the early morning or evenings when the temperature is not as high.

Return to index