What type of first aid should I give a dog suffering from heat stroke in a parked car?FamilyPet
Dogs don’t take the heat as well as we do and some are at even greater risk. Bulldogs or pugs, for instance, have pushed in noses and smaller nasal passages. If a dog is sick, elderly, overweight, has other medical issues such as asthma, or has a black or darker coat, she may be particularly vulnerable.
Signs of heat stroke include bright red gums, thick saliva, struggling to walk or stand, heavy and rapid panting, sudden fatigue, glassy eyed look, confusion, anxiety, vomiting/diarrhea, or refusing to move.
If your dog is showing signs of heatstroke:
• Get her into the shade immediately. Take the dog’s temperature; a normal, resting temperature for a dog is between 100-102 degrees.
• Cool off her body with cool, not cold, water. Use running water, such as a hose. Don’t submerge the dog in a pool or tub. This can cause shock, cardiac arrest and bloating.
• Try to get her to drink a little cool water, but don’t force it if she refuses to drink and don’t let her gulp water. Whatever you do, don’t try to give him any of those human, electrolyte drinks but, rather, stick with plain, fresh water.
• Once her temperature starts to drop, take her to the veterinarian immediately.
As always, prevention is always preferable so:
• Keep her inside, or limit activities, during the hottest part of the day. And don’t discount windows—the hot sun can come in through glass.
• Keep fresh, clean water available for your dog and make sure she is drinking it.
• Never leave your dog inside a parked car, not even for a few minutes. Cracking the windows in your car will not give her enough air flow, and temperatures inside a vehicle can quickly heat up to dangers levels. Even leaving the air conditioning on isn’t a good idea, because to do so you must leave the engine running—and that can result in a stolen car.
• Be aware of hot surfaces your dog walks on. Asphalt, cement, and metal objects are as hot on a dog’s feet as it is for us. If you’re hot, your dog is hotter and could be at risk of developing heat stroke.