Heat stroke in dogs
With summer approaching, it is important to remember how easy it is for dogs to succumb to heat stress. Dogs can only dispel heat via panting and through the sweat glands on the pads of their feet. They do not have sweat glands all over their bodies like humans do. Once body temperature begins to rise rapidly, they simply cannot dispel heat quickly enough and may succumb to heat stroke rapidly. Body temperatures over 106-107F can cause irreversible damage to the brain and heart within minutes resulting in permanent brain damage or death.
It only takes a few minutes for a dog left in a car in the summertime, even with windows rolled down or parked in the shade, to succumb to heat stroke.
Outside Temp (F) Inside Temp (F) (10 min) Inside Temp (F) (30 min)
70 89 104
75 94 109
80 99 114
85 104 119
90 109 124
95 114 129
Some dogs are more susceptible to heat stress than others -like brachycephalics, those with short noses (Bulldogs, Boxers, Bullies, etc) and older dogs with laryngeal paralysis (hunting or working breeds most commonly affected). Also dogs that are overweight are at greater risk.
Cooling the pet by wetting its coat, running a fan, placing ice pack under the armpits and in the groin area, applying rubbing alcohol to the foot pads will help. But, if your dog does not respond quickly, getting it to a veterinarian as quickly as possible may be the difference between life and death.
Wilsonville Veterinary Clinic
9275 S.W. Barber St, Wilsonville, OR 97070