Dog Ear Care - Keeping Your Dog’s Ears Healthy And Pain
Temperature in dogs is regulated by the hypothalamus which is located in the brain. This regulation is through
various mechanisms that will either stimulate production of heat or promote loss of heat.
When these mechanisms fail the two things may result
- Hypothermia Body temperatures are lower than normal
- Hyperthermia (Heatstroke) This is when the body is unable to release enough heat to lower temperatures
resulting in extremely high body temperatures
Causes of heatstroke
Heatstroke in dogs may result from:
- Leaving the dog in a closed car in hot weather with the windows pulled up
- Leaving the dogs outside in hot weather without shade and water
- Placing the dog in a poorly ventilated kennel
- Excess exercise in hot conditions
When heatstroke occurs, it is always an emergency condition that requires immediate medical attention. This is
since high temperatures will cause internal damage that may not be seen from outside.
Signs of heatstroke
- Shallow rapid breathing (panting)
- High rectal temperatures
- Pulse will be fast
- Dog may seem disoriented
- Mucus membrane (gums) will appear dark red
- Loss of consciousness
If you suspect your dog has heatstroke immediately transfer him to a cooler place, you may splash cold water on
him. Ensure that the water is not too cold to avoid causing shock. Find wet towels and place them on the neck and
face. Call the vet, it is hard to assess internal damage by looking at the dog, even if he seems ok, have a vet
confirm that the dog is fine.
When dealing with heatstroke in dogs, prevention is always better than cure. Prevention involves very easy
1. Ensure that you leave your dogs in a well ventilated and cool area. Do not leave the dog inside a closed
2. If at home, ensure the place where the dog is has plenty of air circulating and there is enough
3. Make sure that the dog’s water bowl always has water, especially in hot weather conditions.
4. Avoid extreme exercise for your dog in hot weather.
Some dogs are at a higher risk of suffering from heatstroke than others. These include:
- Puppies these are poor at thermoregulations and will easily succumb to extreme temperature.
- Obese dogs this is due to the underlying fat that may act as an insulator and prevent heat loss from the
- Brachycephalic breeds such as the bull dog and pugs. Such
breeds have compressed face thus a narrow respiratory system and breathing may be difficult for them.
- Dogs adapted to cold climates. These dogs may have thick coats and do not have good mechanisms that
promote heat loss.
In dealing with heatstroke in dogs, vets may inject cold I.V fluids or perform a rectal enema with cold water.
If temperature has exceeded 106oF, the internal damage may be irreversible and death will result in a few
Due to the graveness of heatstrokes, it is important to ensure that you keep your dog in cool and well
ventilated areas to avoid this condition.