The 4-1-1 on heat exhaustion
While all dogs are susceptible to heat exhaustion, certain breeds have a more difficult time dealing with the heat.
Keyahna Fuarez, a member of the team at Goldens Bridge Veterinary Care Center says to “be careful of dogs with thicker coats such as Huskies, Samoyed, Alaskan Malamutes, St. Bernards and Newfoundlands.
In addition to those breeds, brachycephalic (short-nosed) dogs such as Pugs, French Bulldogs, English Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, Boxers and Pekinese have difficulty ventilating, so they can become exhausted at a much quicker rate.
“Over time, they were bred with shorter faces so they don’t have the nasal turbinates to cool,” Dr. Ball describes. ”And a lot of them suffer from deformities, like an elongated soft palate, a narrow trachea or narrowed nostrils, so it makes it harder for them to breathe easily.”
Additionally, Dr. Sarah Cutler from the Behavioral Clinic for Cats and Dogs adds, “Dogs of many breed types can develop laryngeal paralysis as they age, which puts them at risk for heat related respiratory crisis.” These breeds include Irish Setters, Labrador Retrievers, Bouvier de Flandres, Siberian Huskies, Bull Terriers and Dalmatians.
Signs of heat exhaustion
On particularly hot days, keep a close eye and ear on your dog.
Meghan Harrison, director of Katonah Bedford Veterinary Center says, “Unfortunately, we see an overabundance of pets that come in through the ER service with heatstroke and heat exhaustion.”
Signs of heat exhaustion can include excessive and audible panting, drooping tongue and swollen tongue. Fatigue is another key indicator, such as if your dog is dragging behind you on a walk, seeking shade and laying down on their chest with front feet spread. These are all warnings to take your dog out of the heat. But if your dog begins to show signs of heat stroke – vomiting, diarrhea, collapse or seizures – immediately bring them to your nearest veterinarian or emergency clinic.
“If you progress to that point, it would be a serious emergency,” warns Dr. Ball.