Dogs and Heat exhaustion and Heat Stroke

Signs of heat exhaustion include :

heavy panting, hyperventilation (deep breathing),

increased salivation early then dry gums as the effects of over heating progresses, weakness,  confusion or inattention, vomiting or diarrhea and

sometimes bleeding.


As the condition progresses towards heat exhaustion or heat stroke there may be obvious paleness or graying to the gums.

Shallow breathing efforts and eventually slowed or absent breathing efforts,

vomiting and diarrhea that may be bloody and finally seizures or coma.


Temperatures above 103 degrees Fahrenheit are dangerous, if you have a way of taking her temperature and you dogs temp is 102 or higher call your veterinarian immediately


The best approach to heat exhaustion is to prevent it by limiting exercise on hot days. Make sure there is access to water and to get your dog  to air conditioned areas when signs of overheating first occur.

Do not leave your dog in a hot car. Greenhouse or similar environment


Heat exhaustion and heat stroke most commonly happen the first moderately hot days of the summer in active dogs who just go on being really active on these days

We also see problems here because people assume that if a dog is in the water  that the dog won’t overheat. This just isn’t true when the water temperature gets much above 75 degrees if the dog is working hard in the water.
When your dog is wet and she is in the sun it will raise her body temperature. Wet fur does not function properly to keep your dog cool. The water on the dog will increase in temperature much the way water in a puddle will in full sun.  If your dog is going to be playing in water make sure she can get in the shade to dry. The water temperature also should be cool, below 74.
If you dog is showing signs of serious distress from the heat it is best to cool her immediately with cool or tepid water rather than really cold water. If ice packs are available they can be applied to areas where circulation is very good, such as the armpits, or neck.

Blowing air over her with a fan as you cool her off with water can be helpful. As soon as she seems to be gaining some comfort proceed to your vet’s.


Dogs who suffer from heat stroke can develop delayed complications that are really serious, including death,  if they are not properly monitored and cared for.

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