Health Topics

Heat stroke or hyperthermia

This is an abnormally high body temperature and is more common in short nosed dogs and long haired dogs, but can happen in all breeds. Being predominantly black Bernese can be especially susceptible. It is of course most common in the summer months. Dogs will pant heavily and can show drooling, restlessness, unsteadiness, collapse and even coma and death! First aid treatment is geared towards cooling down the dog. Do this with water (preferably running water) or wet blankets and blankets. However, great care must be used with wet towels and blankets because as soon as they reach the underlying body temperature they can act, like a wet suit, and actually insulate the dog. Your vet may use a cold intravenous drip to further cool down the patient. Clear the mouth if necessary. Do not immerse the patient in cold water as this can cause shock!

Dogs can recover well if you catch it early, dogs left in hot cars don’t have a chance and don’t have long so never leave dogs unattended in cars in sunny weather, notice use of the the word “sunny” and not “hot”. Even on a mild day if the sun is out temperatures in cars can soar and soar quickly.