During the hot summer months, overheating and heatstroke both become serious issues for dogs around North Charleston, SC. Dogs who are left unattended in a hot car for any length of time are at the greatest risk for overheating. However, even a dog who is outdoors on a hot day and plays too hard may risk overheating as well. As a pet parent, it is important to understand what to look out for so that you can prevent your dog from overheating.
6 Common Signs That Your Dog is Overheating
In this article, we’ll walk you through six of the most common signs of overheating in dogs. You can use this information to recognize when your dog is getting too hot and might need to take a break, as well as when you need to go to the emergency vet.
Excessive drooling, in this instance, means any level of drooling that is more than normal for your dog. Some dogs never drool, and some drool all the time; you know your dog best. Check his drooling to determine whether or not it is happening more than what is normal for him.
Excessive drooling alone may simply mean that your dog needs to go inside, drink some water, and cool down. Watch very closely for other signs of overheating and be ready to take him to the emergency vet if you think his condition is worsening beyond simple drool.
Panting, like drooling, is a sign that your dog is hot. Although all dogs pant on hot days more often than on cooler days, you can easily tell when your dog’s panting has become excessive and needs your attention.
If your dog’s panting is accompanied by signs of labored breathing, such as heaving sides when taking a breath, this is an emergency. Take your dog to the in North Charleston right away, as he may need oxygen or other emergency care to recover from this overheating.
Rapid Heart Rate
A rapid heart rate is a sign that your dog is entering into true heatstroke. Different dog breeds have different normal heart rates, so be sure to contact your veterinarian to check your dog’s heart. If your dog’s heart rate is only minimally elevated, he may be able to recover well with some rest, fluids, and a cooler environment. If it is very high or rapid, however, he will need to go to the emergency vet to be treated for heatstroke.
Pale Gums or Tongue
Paleness of the gums or tongue mean that your dog is not getting enough oxygen throughout his system. This is usually a sign of moderate to severe heatstroke, and it means that you need to act quickly to help your dog recover fully from this problem. Some dogs may have a discoloration of the gums or tongue instead. If your dog’s tongue and gums are normally pink, they may become blood red, blue, or even black, depending on the severity of the problem. Any changes in the color of your dog’s gums and tongue should be considered emergency symptoms of overheating.
Weakness and Lethargy
The worse your dog’s overheating, the more likely he will be to become weak and lethargic. He may be unable to stand up for very long or might not be willing to try to stand up at all. Your dog may want to drink water, but might be unable to hold himself up long enough to stand at the water dish. If your dog’s overheating is accompanied by these symptoms, it’s time to go to the emergency vet. Don’t wait for other signs, as these are symptoms of very severe heatstroke already and should be treated as such.
Loss of Consciousness
One of the final symptoms of overheating and severe heatstroke is a loss of consciousness. If your dog passes out completely or is unable to be roused, this means the overheating has reached a critical point and absolutely must be responded to immediately. The sooner you act, the more likely you will be to save your dog’s life. Unfortunately, when dogs reach this level of overheating, it is sometimes too late to save them. Your emergency vet will do everything possible to help your dog recover from overheating and heatstroke if he has reached this point, but the results may vary.
Contact Northwoods Veterinary Clinic if Your Dog is Overheating
With the help of this information, you should be able to tell when your dog’s temperature has climbed too high for his safety in North Charleston. You can use this list of 6 signs to recognize overheating and heatstroke in your pet and know when to get your dog the care he needs.
Our team of veterinarians at Northwoods Veterinary Clinic are dedicated to providing the best care possible for your pet. Contact us by calling (843) 553-0441 if your dog is overheating or if you have any additional questions.