As good self-respecting bipeds, we are often delighted to see the warming temperature with the prospect of being able to bask in the sun (no judgment, we at Dog Chef love summer too). While we are able to sweat to eliminate all this stored heat, our furry friends don't have this ability. Their hair, which protects them from cold in winter and sunburn in summer, makes it impossible to sweat through the skin, unlike us. Beware of heat stroke!
What is heat stroke?
A dog is said to have heat stroke when his body temperature exceeds 40.5°C (compared to 38.5°C usually), also called extreme hyperthermia. The body is simply no longer able to dissipate heat.
How can this happen?
As we said above, it happens much faster than you think!
Heat stroke can occur as a result of:
- Intense physical exercise
- A heat wave
- Being enclosed in a confined space (such as a car!)
What are the symptoms?
Here are the typical symptoms of heat stroke:
- initially: increased respiratory rate, marked gasping, body temperature exceeding 40.5°C, salivation, apathy
- When symptoms worsen: diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration with congested and dry mucous membranes, depression and loss of consciousness
- In the most serious cases: heat stroke can lead to the death of the animal
What to do if your dog has a heat stroke?
- The first thing to do is to get your dog into a cool, ventilated area.
- Present him with cool water (cool, not cold! Water that is too cold could cause heat shock in the dog)
- You can then cool it down gradually with a damp cloth, starting with the neck and head. Remember to wet his paws as well
Did you know? A dog fed with the household ration will drink less water than a dog fed with dog biscuits. This is because the foods that make up fresh meals naturally contain a certain amount of water, unlike dry foods.
As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure! The best is to set up simple things to avoid any problems:
- Give your dog constant access to water
- Do not enclose it in confined and/or unventilated spaces (such as a car!)
- Do not expose the animal to high heat. The ideal is to place it in a cool place or in the shade
Since dogs do not have a very effective thermoregulation system compared to other species, heat stroke happens much faster than you might think. So be careful.