Record Heat in Regions of U.S.: Vets See Influx of Dogs with Heatstroke

Posted by Christy Caplan
Heat Distress

As temperatures rise, so are the number of heatstroke cases in dogs. Pet parents need to be vigilant in observing their dogs to ensure they're not suffering from heat stroke.

Dogs don't sweat out excess body heat. While your dog does have a few sweat glands located in his paws, these do little to help regulate his body temperature. Instead, he does this through rapid, open-mouthed breathing, called panting.

In Asheville, North Carolina, local animal hospitals say they are seeing an influx of patients as temperatures rise.

ABC13 WLOS News visited Sweeten Creek Animal and Bird Hospital, and veterinarian Lee Bolt told them that the practice is prepared, and emergency animal hospitals have already been dealing with the issue.

"I'm told yesterday at the emergency clinic they had 10 puppies come in with heatstroke," Bolt said. "They were able to save eight of the puppies. It just shows you it doesn't take long in this environment."

Heatstroke signs are tricky and signs of distress come on quickly!

  • Panting
  • Dehydration
  • Excessive drooling
  • Increased body temperature
  • Reddened gums and moist tissues of the body
  • Production of only small amounts of urine or no urine
  • Rapid heart rate

Other issues to watch out for when temperatures rise are flea and ticks! Here's a story we wrote that will help you determine how to manage those pesky pests. 

 Always look out for signs of excessive panting, and be sure to be extra cautious if you live with a brachycephalic breed. They are at a higher risk on a hot day for heat exhaustion.

This goes without saying but never, ever leave your dog in a parked car as the hot weather can kill them. The internal temperatures in the car can rise quickly and they will immediately have difficulty breathing.

Be sure to review the above signs and symptoms of heatstroke as they can be subtle but will save your dog's life if you can catch heatstroke early enough. The normal temperature range is between 101 and 102.5 F, compared to 97.6 to 99.6 F for humans. Always have cool water available when you're outside for walks!

Do you know the signs of heatstroke in dogs? Please leave us a comment below! 

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Record Heat in Regions of U.S.: Vets See Influx of Dogs with Heatstroke