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Heat stroke in dogs: Warning signs and treatment

In the summer season, dogs may be susceptible to heat stroke, and signs such as breathing difficulties or nosebleeds could indicate hyperthermia.

India TV Health Desk Edited By: India TV Health Desk New Delhi Published on: March 28, 2023 21:30 IST
Heat stroke in dogs
Image Source : FREEPIK Heat stroke in dogs: warning signs and treatment

With the summer season approaching,  climatologists predict 2023 to be marked by intense heat waves, potentially making it one of the hottest years yet. Pet owners need to prepare to protect their furry companions from the impact of the heat. Heat stroke, or hyperthermia, is a common condition that dogs can experience during the summer months. If a dog's body temperature rises above 41°C (105.8°F), it can lead to a range of health problems, including organ failure, neurological issues, and in severe cases, even death.

Symptoms of heat stroke in dogs

During the hottest and most humid days of summer, dogs are at a higher risk of getting heat stroke. It is important to closely monitor your furry friend during such times. Symptoms to look out for include difficulty breathing, excessive drooling, foaming at the mouth, nosebleeds, vomiting, weakness, seizures, and diarrhea. Here are some common causes of heat strokes in dogs: 


According to veterinarians, there are several factors that can cause heat stroke in dogs. These factors can be internal, such as obesity, certain breeds with narrow airways like Pugs, or problems with the heart or lungs. Other internal factors include abnormal calcium levels, previous heat stroke episodes, or a genetic tendency towards heat stroke.


Heat exhaustion in dogs can also be caused by external factors such as lack of shade, poor ventilation, not cooling off after exercise, excessive exercise in hot weather, and limited access to water.

Treatment of heat stroke in dogs

Here are treatment methods suggested by experts:

1. Restore normal body temperature

To bring the dog's body temperature back to normal, controlled cooling methods should be used. This can be done by placing the dog on a wet towel, wetting their paws and fur, and positioning a fan in front of them. However, it is important to avoid using strong cooling methods such as immersing the dog in an ice bath.

2. Intravenous fluids to restore circulation

Administering fluids through an IV is important in treating heat stroke, as it can help replenish the lost fluids and blood volume due to dehydration and shock.

3. Take your dog for a walk early morning or in the evening

To prevent the risk of heat stroke, it is advisable to take your dog for walks early in the morning or late evening when temperatures are cooler, especially if they are a breed that is more susceptible to heat-related illnesses.

Treatment for heat stroke usually involves a mix of cooling methods, fluid therapy, and medications, depending on the severity of the condition. Hospitalization may be required for 2-8 hours until the dog becomes stable enough to return home. Early treatment can lead to a better prognosis.

Pet owners need to be aware of the risk of heat stroke in dogs, especially during the hot and humid summer months. Understanding the symptoms and taking preventative measures can help protect your furry companion from this potentially life-threatening condition.

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