Expert warns pet owners to check their dog's ears for signs of heatstroke

Heatstroke
Maggie Davies

If you’re taking your dogs out in the hot weather, you need to be sure about the signs of heatstroke in dogs, and know how to take action if you’re concerned about your pooch.

Temperatures have dramatically risen in recent weeks across the UK, and many of us are taking the
opportunity to spend more time in outdoor spaces.

Dog owners may be tempted to take their pooches along with them for a day of fun and frolicking in the park, but do you know the signs of heatstroke in your pet?

A recent study has shown that one in six pet owners are not sure about how to spot signs of heatstroke in their mutt, so accredited dog trainer, Joe Nutkins, along with Canine Cottages, have shared ways to check whether your dog has overheated in this warm weather.

Nutkins said: “Dogs have a comfortable core temperature of 38-39C, while humans have a baseline temperature of around 37C”. Although a dog’s core temperature is higher, they cannot regulate heat in the way that we do, which leads them to be more prone to heatstroke.

“In the UK, many vets suggest it could potentially be too hot for some dogs at temperatures of 19-20C, and temperatures of up to 25C are far too hot for dogs to be walked in.

“It does vary a little from dog to dog, with breed and fur type being a factor, as well as age and where you walk your dog.”

He suggested that 15C is “perfect for dogs as they can regulate their temperatures better”, but any higher can be “too warm.”

Dogs’ only sweat-type glands are in their paws, so they show they are too hot in other ways.

Nutkins said: “If your dog is overheating, they naturally use thermoregulation to help control their temperatures, such as panting to release heat via moisture on the tongue or by vasodilation where blood vessels expand, usually in the face and ears, leading to a reddish, prickly appearance.”

Other signs of heatstroke to look out for are:

  • Panting/elevated breathing rates
  • Reddish, prickly appearance on the inside of ears
  • Dry or sticky gums/abnormal gum colour/gum bruising
  • Disorientated or lethargic in nature
  • Seizures

Nutkins warned: “Heatstroke can lead to death in a very short time on a hot day”, and according to Vets Now, dogs only have a 50% survival rate if they suffer from heat stroke, and it can prove fatal within just 15 minutes.

To prevent your dog from suffering heatstroke, you could try chilled coats or cooling mats, allowing them to sit away from the sun in a shaded space.

And always try to get to a vet if your dog is suffering from heatstroke, as they could possibly save their life.

(Story source: The Mirror)

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