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Archive for the ‘Dog Illnesses and Diseases’

Summer Dangers for Pets — Dog Heat Stroke Symptoms and Treatment

July 03, 2010 By: admin Category: All Sick Dog Blog Posts, Dog Dehydration, Dog First Aid and Veterinary Emergencies, Dog Heat Stroke (Hyperthermia), Dog Safety Tips, Dog Symptoms, First Aid for Heat Stroke in Dogs, General Dog Health, Home Remedies for Dog Heat Stroke, Pale Gums in a Dog, Summer and Hot Weather Safety Tips for Pets, Symptoms of Heat Stroke in Dogs

Learn About Dog Heat Stroke Symptoms and Emergency First Aid Treatment for Overheated Dogs. (Bill Davenport Photo)

Learn About Dog Heat Stroke Symptoms and Emergency First Aid Treatment for Overheated Dogs. (Bill Davenport Photo)

Every summer, thousands of dogs and cats are injured or killed due to heat stroke, also known as hyperthermia.

In the hot weather, a dog can develop heat stroke during a walk or jog, while sitting in a hot car, or even while sitting outside in the sun. Some dog breeds are more prone to heat stroke, including Brachycephalic dogs like the Pug, Pekingese and Bulldog. Double-coated dogs — like the Siberian Husky and Pomeranian — are also prone to overheating.

My latest article on Suite101, titled Dog Heat Stroke Symptoms, Treatment — Signs of an Overheated Pet, explains how to recognize a dog’s symptoms of heat stroke and how to administer first aid for a pet who is overheated. Dr. Michael Levine, DVM, shares information on a dog’s heat stroke symptoms, emergency treatment for overheated dogs and he discusses hot weather dangers and situations that lead to heat stroke.

Dog Heat Stroke Symptoms — Red or Pale Gums, Stumbling, Seizure and More

As many pet owners know, a dog’s normal temperature is 100.5 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit.

Hyperthermia or “heat stroke” occurs when the animal’s core body temperature rises due to overheating from exercise and/or exposure to hot weather. In dogs, heat stroke (mild to moderate) is diagnosed if the dog’s body temperature reaches 103.0 to 106.0 degrees. In severe heat stroke, dog body temperature will rise to 106.0 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.

In a case of heat stroke, dogs may exhibit symptoms like:

  • Discolored dog gums (brick red gums in a dog with mild or moderate heat stroke; white pale gums in dogs with severe heat stroke)
  • Stumbling, collapse, weakness, a lack of coordination or refusal to walk
  • Tremors or seizure
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • Inability to drink water due to heavy panting
  • Loss of consciousness or coma

Dog Heat Stroke Treatment and First Aid

Dogs require immediate first aid treatment if hyperthermia (the oppose of “hypothermia” ) is suspected. In this article, you’ll learn how to help a dog with heat stroke with home treatment measures like:

  • Moving the dog out of the sun and heat; ideally, the dog should be taken indoors to an air conditioned location
  • Slowly cooling the dog with water and fans
  • Monitoring the dog’s core temperature

You’ll also find out how to help a dog with heat stroke after cooling has started. You’ll also find out why it’s important to avoid heat stroke treatments like ice water, pools and other methods that rapidly cool a hot dog’s core temperature.

In addition to discussing how to help a dog with heat stroke, Dr. Levine explains how to know when it’s time to transport the dog to an emergency veterinary clinic. Remember, cooling an overheated dog is the first step; once the dog’s body temperature has been lowered out of the danger zone, the pet owner can transport the dog to the veterinary clinic for further treatment.

Hyperthermia After Care — Why it’s Vital to Take an Overheated Dog to the Veterinary Clinic

It’s important to note that once an overheated dog has been cooled, he’s not out of the woods. In dogs, heat stroke triggers a series of changes inside the body — think of it like a domino effect. This downward spiral or “domino effect” will continue, even once the dog’s body temperature has been lowered. In cases of severe heat stroke, dogs require emergency veterinary treatment if they are to survive; dogs who are not treated can and will die from hyperthermia complications.

Dr. Levine also explains many of the health complications associated with heat stroke in dogs, along with why you should always bring a dog to the veterinary clinic after a heat stroke.

Common complications from overheating in dogs include:

  • Dehydration
  • Shock (symptoms include low blood pressure, heart arrhythmia, pale gums)
  • Organ failure, including heart failure and kidney failure
  • Blood clotting problems and bleeding
  • Breathing problems (particularly in dogs with asthma)

Very young animals, sick pets, elderly dogs and dogs with a pre-existing medical condition will likely see additional complications from heat stroke.

To learn more about the symptoms and signs of heat stroke in dogs, along with Dr. Levine’s recommendations on how to treat heat stroke in dogs, read Dog Heat Stroke Symptoms, Treatment — Signs of an Overheated Pet.

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Dog Pneumonia Symptoms, Causes and Treatment of Respiratory Infections in Dogs

March 18, 2010 By: admin Category: All Sick Dog Blog Posts, Dog Breathing Problems, Dog Coughing, Dog Pneumonia, Dog Respiratory Problems, Dog Sneezing, Dog Symptoms, Respiratory Infections in Dogs

Excessive panting is a symptom of pneumonia in dogs. Pneumonia symptoms also include sneezing, rapid breathing, refusal to eat and drink and coughing in dogs. (Sue Byford Photo)

My latest article on Suite101 discusses pneumonia in dogs, including the symptoms of pneumonia in a dog, the causes and how to treat pneumonia in dogs.

Pneumonia is a serious and potentially deadly respiratory problem in dogs, cats and other pets. A dog with pneumonia will have a combination of inflammation, infection and fluid in the lungs and bronchi (the tube that leads to the lungs.) Pneumonia symptoms in a dog may include coughing, wheezing and “rattling” breathing,  non-stop panting, sneezing, and refusal to eat and drink (among other symptoms, discussed in more detail in the related article.)

Causes and Types of Pneumonia in Dogs – Aspiration Pneumonia, Infection, Fungi, Parasites and Dog Allergies as Causes of Respiratory Problems

This article discusses the different types and causes of pneumonia, which can include:

  • Aspiration pneumonia – The dog aspirates, inhaling food or fluid into the lungs, causing a lung infection that develops into aspiration pneumonia.
  • Pneumonia due to fungus or parasites – Inhaling fungus or certain types of parasites can cause pneumonia in a dog.
  • Dog pneumonia from bacteria, infection and virus – A dog’s pneumonia can be triggered by a virus or it can result from bacteria, that leads to a lung infection. In some cases, a dog’s upper respiratory infection — associated with symptoms like sneezing, coughing, nasal discharge and breathing problems in dogs — may be left untreated. An untreated upper respiratory infection can spread into the lungs, leading to pneumonia.
  • Pneumonia from a dog’s allergies – Allergies in dogs can cause pneumonia, particularly forms of pneumonia involving significant lung inflammation and mucus.




Owners will also find out what to expect when diagnosing and treating pneumonia in dogs. Respiratory infections can be very serious and potentially deadly, so it’s important that dog owners are educated on the symptoms, causes, diagnosis and treatment of respiratory infections in dogs. Allergies and minor upper respiratory infections (URIs) in dogs are fairly common, with sneezing, wheezing, coughing, and discharge among the more common symptoms. But if a pet owner does not recognize the symptoms or if the owner mistakenly believes that the problem will resolve on its own, the dog may develop pneumonia, which can ultimately lead to hospitalization and even death.

To learn more about dog pneumonia symptoms, causes, diagnosis methods and how to treat a dog with pneumonia, read Mia Carter’s article titled, Dog Pneumonia Symptoms, Causes and Treatment: Canine Respiratory Infections Caused by Aspiration, Virus, Parasites.

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