Last Updated on January 12, 2021
Before we even jump to the heatstroke symptoms, let’s talk about what is a heatstroke. A heat stroke is something that happens when our bodies overheat. One of the leading causes of stroke is being exposed to high temperatures for a long time, making your body temperature rise considerably. When it comes to dogs, if their body temperature is 103°F or 39.4°C, know that it is not normal, and you should check that out. And if their body temperature is at 106°F (41°F) or more than your dog is experiencing a heatstroke and you should do something about it as soon as possible! But unfortunately, we don’t always have a thermometer with us, so how can you tell if your dog is having a heart stroke? Here, we will give you a list of stroke symptoms your dog might have, and in the end, we will provide you with some tips on how you can treat a heat stroke in dogs.
Table of Contents
1. Your dog is panting a lot
Even though panting is normal for dogs, you have to pay attention and notice when the panting is becoming more like hyperventilation. If your dog is panting non-stop, especially during a hot day, rush to them and give them fresh water. If needed, place your dog in a cool area where they can rest. You need to pay extra attention if you have certain dog breeds like pugs because their faces are flatter than other dogs, so they cannot pant effectively, which makes them more prone to a heat stroke.
Dehydration doesn’t always mean your dog is overheated, but it can be one of the signs of heatstroke. But how do you know that dog is dehydrated? A tip we can give you is to always look at their nose. Normally, dogs have wet or humid noses; if it’s dry, they are probably dehydrated. Tiredness and darkness around the eye is also a symptom that something is not right.
3. Your dog is not peeing
Not being able to pee is a consequence of severe dehydration that can be related to a heat stroke. An adult dog produces between 10 and 20ml of urine every day for each pound of their body weight. Of course, you’re not going to measure your dog’s pee, but just so you get the idea, approximately, every adult dog has to go outside at least three or even five times a day to pee. Start counting how many times your dog is peeing per day and, if possible, check if it’s in small quantities a lot of times if so it might be time to call your vet.
One of the most important signs your puppy has a stroke is if they have a fever. The best way to check their body temperature is through their nose. A healthy dog will have a wet and cool nose, but a dog with a fever or a temperature of 103ºF or above will most likely have a warm and dry nose.
5. Too much drooling
Drooling might be a personality trait for some dogs like bloodhounds and saint bernards, but the consistency of the drool is also something that can indicate if something’s wrong with your dog. If you notice excessive drooling that is stickier and thicker than usual, then it’s best to take your dog to the vet.
6. Gums with abnormal colors
Different gum colors can also mean something is wrong with your dog, most of the time, it means they’re dehydrated, but it can also mean that they’re developing a disease. If your dog’s gums aren’t a normal color (pinkish), check this list below to find out what different color gums usually mean. Dark red gums: These usually mean your dog is having a heat stroke, but it can also mean poisoning. Yellow gums: there’s probably something wrong with their red blood cells and liver. Pale gums: This happens when your dog is in pain, suffers from anemia, or has a lot of blood loss. Bluish or purple gums: Lung problems, low blood pressure, asthma.
7. Your dog is weak and lazy
If your dog is lying down, doesn’t want to get up and has a hard time walking or even standing up, then immediately rush to them with fresh water and check their nose. Overheating is known to cause dogs to sleep more, and it can also make your dog’s muscles shiver from the heat overload, making them appear “lazy” and weaker.
8. A rapid pulse
A pulse rate depends on the size of your dog and age. While older and bigger dogs tend to have slower pulses, puppies are the opposite. But how can you effectively check your dog’s pulse? The best and simplest way to do it is by placing your hand on your dog’s chest where their front elbow joint is located.
9. Your dog is feeling dizzy
If you notice your dog is bumping into other people, furniture, and overall having trouble walking in a straight line, then they might be feeling dizzy, and the reason for it might have to do with too much heat and dehydration. The best way on how to prevent heatstroke in dogs is to always make sure that they have airflow and water near them to keep them hydrated.
10. Vomiting or diarrhea
Even though heat exhaustion is not the only cause of vomit and chronic diarrhea in puppies and dogs, it can be related to it. What causes diarrhea in puppies is usually related to spoiled food, parasites, and being subjected to high temperatures making their body overheat. If you notice your dog is having diarrhea, or poop with blood on it, immediately contact your vet! Now that you’re aware of the symptoms a heatstroke can cause, you’re probably wondering how to treat heatstroke in puppies and older dogs. The first thing you should do, and the best heat stroke treatment is water. Not just plain water, but make your dog drink fresh and cold water that will help their body gain its normal temperature. Moving your dog to an area with air conditioning or airflow is also a good idea. You can even splash some water on them to cool down. In any case, it is always best to go to the vet and get your dog professionally diagnosed. It’s so important to have a dog health insurance since you can never tell how many times you’ll be needing medical assistance. And even though a stroke treatment might sound easy to deal with, it can still be deadly to many, so next time something like this happens, seek help!