Heatstroke Average Cost

From 22 quotes ranging from $1,500 - 14,000

Average Cost

$5,000

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What is Heatstroke?

Heat stroke, also known as heat exhaustion or by its medical term hyperthermia, refers to the condition of having a body temperature above normal. The normal body temperature range for a dog is between 38 - 39°C (100.5 - 102.5°F). Hyperthermia is characterised by a body temperature greater than 41°C (105.8°F). Hyperthermia feels excessively hot and uncomfortable for the dog and can lead to physiological dysfunction of various organ systems including the central nervous system. Hyperthermia usually occurs in hot humid weather without adequate shade or ventilation (such as being confined in a hot car). It results from an impaired ability to dissipate or expel heat from the body.

Heat stroke or hyperthermia refers to an abnormally high core body temperature caused by insufficient ability to dissipate heat from the body. It can be fatal if left untreated.

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Symptoms of Heatstroke in Dogs

The risk of heat stroke is increased on hot, humid days in the peak of summer. It is therefore important to closely monitor dogs in such conditions. Symptoms of heat stroke include:

  • Excessive panting
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Excessive salivation
  • Foaming at the mouth
  • Nose bleeds
  • Bright red gum colour
  • Skin that feels hot to the touch
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Weakness
  • Head tremors
  • Seizures
  • Collapse

Causes of Heatstroke in Dogs

Hyperthermia results from an impaired ability to dissipate heat from the body. The main method for dogs to decrease their own body heat is evaporative cooling by panting. Dogs will also cool themselves via convection by laying on a cooler surface to transfer body heat.

There are several factors that contribute to the inability to dissipate heat efficiently; these can be categorised into endogenous (originating from within the body) and exogenous (originating outside the body) factors.

  • Endogenous factors:
    • Obesity
    • Brachycephalic airways
    • Upper airway obstruction
    • Laryngeal paralysis or collapsing trachea
    • Cardiovascular or respiratory disease
    • Abnormal calcium metabolism
    • Previous incidence of hyperthermia
    • Genetic predisposition combined with other factors
  • Exogenous factors:
    • Hot humid climate
    • Lack of shade
    • Being kept in an area with poor ventilation
    • Inadequate cooling-off after exercise
    • Excessive exercise in a hot climate
    • No access to water

Diagnosis of Heatstroke in Dogs

To diagnose heat stroke, the veterinarian will perform a complete physical assessment of the dog including a rectal temperature. The presence of clinical signs as well as an elevated body temperature (greater than 41°C or 105.8°F) is indicative of heat stroke. Even if the body temperature is normal or hypothermic (abnormally low), this does not rule out the occurrence of heat stroke as the lower body temperature may be a result of cooling measures implemented at home by the owner. It is important as an owner to be transparent regarding any treatments attempted before arrival to the veterinary hospital.

Ancillary blood tests and urinalysis are also performed. There are several physiologic changes in the blood and urine that a veterinarian will look for to determine the presence of heat stroke and assess the extent of any internal organ damage. Values that are commonly seen with laboratory testing include increased enzyme activity, hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar content), and packed red blood cell volumes indicative of dehydration. Assessment of blood under a microscope may reveal nucleated red blood cells. The presence of such cells and cell count has been associated with the relative prognosis.

Treatment of Heatstroke in Dogs

Treatment is aimed at restoring the normal body temperature via cooling methods to prevent organ failure. Intravenous fluid therapy is administered to restore circulating blood volume and antibiotics are sometimes given to decrease the risk of bacterial spread.

Cooling methods are implemented in a controlled manner. Intense cooling methods (such as plunging the dog into an ice bath) are contraindicated because they can cause peripheral blood vessels to constrict, causing the body temperature to rise further. Appropriate cooling is accomplished via evaporation and heat conduction methods such as placing the dog on a wet towel, wetting the paws and fur, and placing a fan in front of the dog. The dog will be observed by trained veterinary professionals, with body temperature monitored every five minutes during the implementation of cooling.

Fluid therapy is important in order to restore an adequate circulating volume of blood, as heat stroke is associated with dehydration and hypovolemic shock. Fluid is usually given as a bolus and decreased to maintenance rates once peripheral perfusion and blood pressure values are within normal range. The administration of room temperature fluids can also help with decreasing core body temperature.

Medications may be indicated to assist in the restoration of function to damaged organs or to pre-emptively decrease the risk of damage. Antibiotics are commonly used to decrease the risk of translocation of bacteria that could lead to sepsis.

Depending on the severity of heat stroke, a combination of cooling methods, fluid therapy, and medications are likely to be used for treatment. The dog will usually require hospitalisation for 24 - 48 hours until deemed stable for discharge. If the dog is presented early during the onset of heat stroke, there is a good prognosis.

Recovery of Heatstroke in Dogs

Once the patient is recovered and discharged from the veterinary hospital, the veterinarian will usually conduct a follow-up call the following day. They may or may not request a follow-up appointment including a recheck of blood parameters. After the heat stroke is initially managed, the veterinarian may suggest supportive tests to assess the extent of any suspected organ damage. Home observation of the dog for any adverse signs is vital.

After a dog has suffered from hyperthermia, they will be at an increased risk for developing heat stroke again in the future. It is important to watch for factors that may contribute to heat strokes such as heat, lack of shade, excessive exercise, and dehydration.

Preventative measures that can be taken include not leaving dogs in areas of excessive heat and poor ventilation, not subjecting dogs to strenuous exercise in hot weather, and providing sufficient shade and water on hot days.

Heatstroke Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Drake
Labrador Retriever
2 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Drake was out playing when he had a heat stroke. Rushed him to the vet and after an hour and a half his temp had gone from 108.5 back to the normal range, and he was also stable and not panting near as much as he was when he went into the vet. With his condition of his temp coming back down so quickly, do you think his recovery will be quick? Do you think he’ll make it?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2514 Recommendations
It was a very quick drop in body temperature, however if the body temperature stays around physiological range and any fluid deficit has been corrected there is a better chance of a favourable prognosis. Just the temperature drop seems a lot in the short time frame, I’ve never seen a drop in core body temperature so fast. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Hazel
Husky / Beagle
9 Months
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Heat stroke

My boyfriend put my dog outside and forgot to water her at 11 am this morning, I got home around 5pm and she was on the ground not moving, but awake. She has finally got her breathing under control, but she still isn’t moving well, she can move her head but she’s very weak... I’ve cooled her down, but I’m not sure what to do next. She has a heart murmur. I told the emergency vet that, but she said it didn’t seem serious.. it’s 10:36pm and still no real movements.. is this normal?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1098 Recommendations
That is not normal, no. I'm not sure what temperature it is where you live, but Hazel may have heat stroke, or she may have something else going on with her. She needs to be seen by a veterinarian right away to be evaluated and given any treatment that she might need.

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Bongo
Golden Retriever
9 Years
Serious condition
2 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Fatigue
Depression
Drowsiness

While on a casual stroll on a trail yesterday, my 9 year old golden retriever named Bongo started wheezing loudly, then experienced shortness of breath with a lot of noise being made by him trying to breathe. We rushed him to an emergency vet immediately. He was panting and hyperventilating on the ride there. His temp was 104.8 when we arrived, and they were able to bring the temp down to 101.9. His blood work was fine, and they gave him an IV for fluids. He was then discharged with a diagnosis of heat exhaustion. Today he has not been himself at all. No energy, sleeping excessively and staring off into space wide eyed with a concerned and depressed look, which is not like my sweet happy boy Bongo at all. I am just wondering if this is to be expected after experiencing what he went through? Could this be him recoverying and he can bounce back, or is this something more serious?
Thank you for your time.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1098 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. Without examining Bongo, i can't comment on whether he is okay. Heatstroke is a significant stress on the system, however. It would not surprise me if he took a few days to recover - many dogs do not survive this stress on the body. If he hasn't improved over the next few days, or if he develops vomiting or diarrhea, or doesn't want to eat, he should be re-examined to make sure that he is okay. I hope that all goes well for him.

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Emily
Pug
4 Years
Critical condition
0 found helpful
Critical condition

Has Symptoms

Panting

Hi my pug was left for 3h in our balcony, arriving in home we noticed she was breathing but panting strong and not answering at all. We got her to a hospital at the same time and now it looks she is recovering: vet says that is breathing good with oxygen and taking fluid. They did exams and looks like no organs were damaged but she still have a little bit of diaherrea. But she is still not answering too much, look unconscious. How long does it take to a recovery?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2514 Recommendations
There is no standard recovery from heat stroke as each case is different depending on the size of the dog, hydration, temperature, time outside among other factors; it is just a positive sign that Emily is improving with the supportive care. She may be groggy for a few days once you take her home but should bounce back if you Veterinarian has given all clear on her internal health. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Pepsi
Yorkshire Terrier
10 Years
Mild condition
1 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Diarrhea
high temperature
Panting
Vomiting

My 10 year old Yorkie seems to have suffered from heat stroke. In my dog Pepsi's 10 years in SF it has never been as hot as it was these past two days at 106! I've tried to keep him and my other dogs cool with fans and portable AC and kept ice water at their reach. I've been force feeding him water with a seringe. Today he vomited water and had diarrhea. What can I do to continue to help him get better. Ps: the weather finally cooled down to the 80s. He's walking around but I'm concerned.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2514 Recommendations
In these circumstances it is best to give Pepsi as much opportunity to cool down as he requires; putting down a wet towel on the floor (ceramic floor of course) and having a fan also in the area in addition to the air conditioning will allow him to cool down as much as he requires.Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Broly
Blue Nose Pitbull
2 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Diarrhea
Panting/Abnoraml Breathing
Not using leg
Not responding well
Not drinking
Vomiting

My 2 year old blue nose pitbull was left outside it was suppose to be a cloudy cool day but we came home from work and he was laying against the wall of the house amd he was panting and non responsive to our talking or hand gestures. We cooled him down with cold water and rubbed his legs elevated his head once he cooled down and was no longer panting and body felt cool to the touch we took him out and put towels on him he has had diarreah and looks as if he is trying to lift his head but wobbly when he does, he is not responding to noise or sound at first his legs were stiff now the are just loose like he is in a vegetative state almost but awake, i pushed on his gums and the blood came back to them about 1.5-2 seconds after pressing but i am concerned he may have some sort of damge to the brain from this and it breaks my heart to think so.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2514 Recommendations

In this type of case you should visit an Emergency Veterinarian immediately; in severe cases of heatstroke complications may occur causing blood to clot in the blood vessels (disseminated intravascular coagulation) which may lead to hemorrhaging. There is no at home treatment which will help here and cooling Broly too fast may cause other complications. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM
www.vetary.com/dog/condition/disseminated-intravascular-coagulation
www.cliniciansbrief.com/sites/default/files/Canine%20Heatstroke.pdf

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Vader
Labradoodle
1 Year
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Panting, drinking water, whining

Hi, Vader is 1 year 4 months and yesterday we went for a run and when we came back he was panting a lot, I did research about heatstroke and treated him with cool wet towels and after approximately a half hour I gave him a bath with cool water, he started feeling better cause he was doing his usual run around after bath time, he drank tons of water during the first couple hours. There was some unusual whining too. Today he is doing not as energetic as always, as a matter of fact he's still laying in bed. Is that normal for a day after heatstroke? He seems to be fine only less energetic, is that normal or should he still see a vet?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2514 Recommendations

Heatstroke can be deadly for dogs and appropriate first aid is important to ensure that a dog’s temperature returns to physiological range and that they are adequately hydrated, dehydration is the enemy as much as the heat. Cooling down with wet towels and a portable fan will help along with free access to water; cooling a dog down too fast may cause further complications (do you read about people dying when jumping into lakes and rivers during heatwaves?). Check Vader’s hydration by checking his capillary refill time by pressing his gums until they go white and then releasing and counting the time for the blood to refill, if it takes longer than two seconds he is dehydrated; it may be worth having Vader checked out to be on the safe side. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

More than likely he had rabdo

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Bobo
boston terrier
5
Serious condition
1 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

gelatanous blood from anus

what if a dog has been treated at home for heat stroke but now has gelotinous blood coming out of his anus but he is waking up , sitting and standing and turning around ...

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2514 Recommendations

Gelatinous blood or ‘raspberry jam stool’ (as described in some textbooks) is generally associated with colitis or hemorrhagic gastroenteritis; treatment for heatstroke involves lowering the body temperature and maintaining hydration which I assume you have done. If you are seeing raspberry jam stool coming from Bobo’s anus, take him to a Veterinarian or Emergency Veterinarian immediately; I cannot give you any ‘at home’ advice on this. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Alaska
Siberian Husky
3 Years
Moderate condition
1 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

anorexia
Weight Loss
Lameness

My Siberian Husky was left outside by her caretaker 9 weeks ago. Temps here reach over 100 degree Fahrenheit. When found, she was unconscious, down time unknown, and was unresponsive to painful stimuli. She was in Cheyne-Stokes respirations and while there was a corneal reflex , it was minimal. In a panic the girl attempted to force fluids, later resulting in an aspiration pneumonia. She did correctly bring her into the ac, place on cold wet towels and administer oxygen. When I arrived i started her on an IV of NS and gave iv dexamethasone. After being in the cool airflow and towels progressing to ice packs and receiving 750 ml of iv fluids, her rectal temp was still 42 degrees C/ 108 F. She was eventually stabilized after enduring pulmonary edema with some hemorrhage, cerebral edema, DIC, rhabdomylysis, metabolic acidosis and pnuemonia. Initially on ceftriaxone and metronidazole IV with dexamethasone for pulmonary and cerebral edema. Started to take Nutrical and broth. Then she got a major GI bleed from the steroids. She was so anemic I had to stop the IV. Now too tired to eat She was sustained on pedialyte, broth and Nutrical only. After 3 weeks she had just started to eat when bilateral lick granuLomas to the bones caused an osteomyelitis.She stopped eating. Back on antibiotics, enrofloxacin this time. Started eating a bit, then caught a URI. She stopped eating again. Zithromax worked for that. She started eating again. CBC is back to normal with very minor anemia. Complete metabolic profile now back to normal except for low total protein ( ALP had gone sky high). So here we are, 9 weeks later and she won't eat again for the past 5 days. I had been force feeding the first 20 pieces of kibble and she would take over, eating voluntarily from my hand. As of 5 days ago, I've had to force feed everything. No vomiting, completely normal stool, drinking plenty of water and urinating fine. Energetic on walks, The only other abnormal is she won't weight bear on her left rear leg, and cries out when ankle, knee and hip are manipulate. It seems like it's coming from her hip, but I doubt it because she lays frog legged frequently. Current meds are Mirtazepine for appetite, Paxil for appetite and pain, and gabapentin for pain ( and hopefully appetite). Tramadol didn't help the pain and killed her appetite even more if that's possible. I can't even tempt her with roast chicken, burger, etc. Is this behavioral? Or could she have suffered damage to the part of her brain that registers hunger.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2514 Recommendations

Heat stroke can be devastating and in many severe cases dogs are not as lucky as Alaska; clotting problems, strokes and death are all possible consequences of heat stroke along with other complications. Alaska hasn’t had an easy time of it with her recovery and it is impossible to determine the exact of cause of the loss of appetite amongst all that has occurred since the heat stroke incident; a stroke or a reduction of blood flow to parts of the brain may have occurred during the initial heat stroke and management, without a thorough examination (and possibly CT scan) we cannot know anything for sure. At this point, nine weeks after the heat stroke, we would expect Alaska’s position to be a bit better; continuing to force feed her and trying appetite stimulants are the best course of action which you are doing, I really cannot think of anything further to add. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Oh, forgot to mention, she did initially have abnormal neurological activity: minor muscle twitching, head jerking and irregular eye movements .

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Bella
Blue nosed Pit bull
5 Years
Serious condition
-1 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Blood In Urine

We had a longer than intended bike ride today.... My dog Bella was with us .. she had foaming of the mouth, excessive panting. We cooled her down with water she quit panting and returning to her happy self. So ew headed back to the car. She started panting again so we packed her and when she got too heavy we walked instead of road. We even hitch hiked the rest of the way to the car. Bella cooled down again and has been eating and drinking and acting like herself other than she has been bleeding out of her vagina. She is fixed. I'm so afraid I'm going to lose my four legged baby. My son and her are stuck like glue as the rest of us are.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2514 Recommendations

Heatstroke can be a difficult condition to manage and cooling down a dog too fast may cause more complications; I would recommend visiting your Veterinarian, especially if you press Bella’s gums and they take more than two seconds to refill with blood. Severe dehydration caused by heat stroke may cause problems with clotting and other processes, it would be best to have Bella checked over, especially since she seemed to be severely affected by the heat. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Furby
Chihuahua
11 Years
Moderate condition
1 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Head hanging down
Shaking hind legs
Unable to Eat
Vomiting
unstable; weak legs

Medication Used

none

My 11 year old chihuahua accidentally got left in our vehicle the other night; she is showing a lot of the symptoms of a heatstroke. She has been drinking a little water on her own but hasn't wanted anything else. We've tried giving her different other liquids with no luck. Today she has sniffed food but not eating. She seems to be a little stronger in her legs and more interested in her surroundings, wagging her tail and looking up. My question is should we just keep watching her and trying to get her to eat again or wound she need a visit to the vet. and IV fluids?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2514 Recommendations

It is important to know that each case of heatstroke is different with minor cases requiring some first aid by the owner (pouring some lukewarm water on a dog and placing them in front of a fan to cool down by evaporation) to severe cases requiring emergency veterinary care which can be life or death situations. Check Furby’s capillary refill time by pressing the gum so that it turns white; if it takes more than two seconds she is dehydrated any may require fluid therapy. In these cases it is always wise to visit your Veterinarian just to check to make sure everything is going right and for peace of mind. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Molly
American Akita
4 Years
Serious condition
1 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

aggressive
Glazing over eyes
Barely eating
Panting
Lethargic

My dog has increasingly become more aggressive towards our small dog, shih-tzu-poo. Molly grew up around this small dog And have lived together all molly's life. Molly was outside for all period of time, but has been kept inside ever since and still attacks the small dog. Would a heatstroke cause a dog to become more aggressive only towards one dog?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2514 Recommendations

There are many possible causes for changes in behaviour or aggression; a traumatic event (doesn’t matter how insignificant) may be enough to upset a dog and change of behaviour. I cannot see a way that the heat stroke is related or not; usually mistrust and aggression changes come from jealousy or an previous fight. It may be worth visiting a Behaviourist to see if they can shed light on this problem for you as well as giving you some tips to help them get along. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Buffy
Chihuahua
9 Weeks
Serious condition
-1 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

High resp rate.

Hello,
I have a 9 week old puppy he was outside and I realised too late he couldnt reach the bowl to drink water. So he now has heatstroke I am thinking. Symptoms are poor ability to walk, vomiting, initially high need for fluids but now have reduced, I've given 10ml of 0.9 saline and wiped him with damp towel briefly and closely monitored. So far he is walking although bit wobbly still, 38.0 temp, wagging tail at mum, stopped needing so much fluids, urinated 3 times, and sleepy. Although my concern is his respiration rate is quite high...

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2514 Recommendations

It seems that your first aid for Buffy was effective in lowering his body temperature to a physiological value, recover can be long and excessive panting in puppies can occur for no reason. Check Buffy’s gums, press on them and see how long it would take for blood to return to the gums, should be less than two seconds; if longer Buffy would still be dehydrated and would require more fluids. Respiratory rates of more than 35 per minute would be excessive and maybe indicative of another medical condition; if the respiratory rate remains high, a visit to your Veterinarian would be required. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Juli
5 Years
Moderate condition
1 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Loud Breathing

My dog has suffered through heatstroke we get to vegetarian and after that still it occurs 3 times
.why?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2514 Recommendations

Symptoms of heatstroke (or hyperthermia) can be due to changes in the environment surrounding your dog or from the environment inside your dog. Causes for increased body temperature (which would then cause your dog to pant) can be hormonal in origin, exercise induced, cause by a foreign body or caused by cardiovascular or respiratory disease. A visit to your Veterinarian for a full examination to rule out any infectious disease and to carry out tests to determine the origin of the increase in body temperature. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Marcello
English bulldog
5 Years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Laying on floor
Panting

Medication Used

Antibiotics

Trying to determine if my dog has a heat stroke. I am very worried about him. Can you determine if it is a heat stroke? He came in from a few minutes outside. Was panting laying on the floor. Now is playing, jumping on the couch, no more panting. Should I still be worried? He is panting a little still but I think it is from playing.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2514 Recommendations

There is no real way to determine that the panting and laying on the floor is due to heatstroke or other disorder, it is more of a diagnosis based on symptoms and ruling out other causes. Overheating may be caused by external temperature, overexertion or respiratory disorders; since he is now active, ensure that he has free access to water and try to keep him rested for today. If you notice him panting excessively or acting strangely, you may want to visit your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Bruno
Mutt
6 Months
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Seizure

My dog was quite big for his age. He's so weak that he can't even get up on his own. We've already transferred him to a cooler place and he's had a seizure but after a few minutes his breathing is quite normal now. What should we do now?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2514 Recommendations

If Bruno has heatstroke, it is important to keep him cool and to ensure that he is hydrated. Do not try to put him in a cold bath as this may lead to shock. Larger / obese dogs are more prone to heat stroke. If Bruno has has a seizure, it would be best to have him admitted to your Veterinarian’s Office or Emergency Clinic for supportive care (intravenous fluids and observation as well as symptomatic therapy for seizures). Heatstroke can cause death if not treated promptly with obese dogs being more at risk. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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