Signs Your Dog is Overheating-What to Watch Out For!
Overheating is not something to be taken lightly in pets, especially dogs. Usually associated with dehydration, the effects of overheating can be fatal if not well taken care of. Dogs, unlike humans, lack the physiology of sweating to help them keep cool. They rely on panting instead. Their active nature, on the other hand, serves to promote overheating which can be fatally dangerous. It is, therefore, important for a pet owner or handler to know the signs of dog overheating and what to watch out for. Early detection of these signs could potentially save a dog’s life.
During hot seasons, the hot temperatures This is usually the earliest sign that your dog is overheating. You will notice excessive panting, similar to the one characteristic after running or intense activity. If you see this when the dog is just taking an easy stroll or seated, chances are that overheating has kicked in.
Excessive Drooling Drooling could be a sign of distress in dogs.
Heat distress, in particular, stimulates excessive drooling characterized by the discharge of a thick drool. Dry and Pale Gums Dehydration which always accompanies overheating manifests by changes in your dog’s gums. The usual pink and moist gums suddenly appear dry and pale indicating water loss.
Elevated Heart Rate
When overheating, the dog’s physiology of cooling down sets in, in the form of increased heart rate. This is as a result of an increased effort to cool down. The normal range of the dog’s heartbeat should fall between 60-140 beats per minute. Distress, heat, in this case, elevates this rate. Increased Body Temperature An overheating dog wills present a fever, temperatures of above 105 degrees Fahrenheit. This sign can be easily felt by touching the head region of your dog by using the back of your hand to note the change.
When looking out for this sign, be careful not to confuse it with panting. Strenuous breathing, usually rapid and deep indicates heat distress. Normally, a dog’s respiratory rate ranges between 12-24 breaths per minute. Anything below or above the range could signify overheating.
Thirst is a physiological mechanism to counter dehydration. Overheating, for a fact causes dehydration and consequently, your dog becomes excessively thirsty. You will notice an unusually increased drinking of water to restore the levels back to normal.
Weakness and Disorientation When severely overheating, a dog will display signs of weakness and appear dull. The characteristic animated nature is suddenly replaced with difficulties in walking or even standing. When walking, a stagger may be noticed.
In advanced stages of overheating, a dog may develop seizures or convulsions and collapse. At this level, overheating results in neurological distress that triggers these events.
What to Do in Overheating
As soon as you notice any of these signs, quick and decisive action should be taken. This is so as to prevent escalation into dangerous levels. Observe the following measures; -Provide cooler conditions by putting your dog in a shade or indoors. Make sure the room has good air conditioning. -Confirm temperature by use of a rectal thermometer. Taking rectal temperature provides accurate figures to go by. Anything above 106 degrees Fahrenheit is dangerous and you should call the vet immediately. -Have clean water at hand and let your dog drink freely to restore any water loss via dehydration. -Wrap damp clothing around your dog’s paws, neck, armpits and between hind legs to help cool down.
In extreme cases, immediately rush your dog to the vet!!!