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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Heatstroke in dogs

Posted at 7:17 AM, Jun 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-17 08:17:41-04

TULSA, Okla. — Green County is in a heatwave and with temperatures nearing the 100’s local veterinarians are bringing awareness to heatstroke in dogs.

When temperatures reach the 90’s, dogs are very susceptible to heatstroke and it’s much more common than most people think. Some breeds are more vulnerable than others and older dogs are at a higher risk of death.

Your dog doesn't even have to be exercising to get heat-stroke, they can also get it by being left outside for too long.

To avoid that, local veterinarian Chet Thomas tells me:

  • Give them plenty of fresh and cool water.
  • Make sure they have shade in the backyard.
  • Take walks in the early morning or evenings -- when it's cooler.
  • Avoid hot surfaces like hot sand or asphalt; their paws are sensitive to heat, just like our feet.
  • And finally, if it is extremely hot, bring them inside.

“If you are going to spend some time outside, you and I would take a break. Make sure your dog has the same access to the same liberties,” Dr. Thomas said.

There are also some ways to stop it and it starts by catching the signs before it gets worse. So, if your dog has been playing outside you’ll want to look out for:

  • Rapid panting or breathing
  • Redness of the tongue or mouth
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Diarrhea or vomiting
  • Thick and sticky saliva

“If you do see that at home and you feel that your furry friend is not acting well always put them in front of a fan and never hesitate to call us, we’ll coach you through it,” Dr. Thomas said.

The American Animal Hospital Association has more information on prevention and symptoms. To learn more, CLICK HERE.

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