What Are the Signs of Heat Stroke?
When you yourself are experiencing heat stroke, you may not notice it because it is impairing your brain functions. The hidden causes of heat stroke include having an intolerance to heat and could become a complication on an underlying related illness. Having hallucinations from heat stroke is not uncommon. Common signs of heat stroke other than taking out that trusty mercury glass thermometer and taking your core temperature are as follows from the Mayo Clinic,
- Heartbeat racing
- Breathing shallow and rapid
- Not sweating, skin is dry
- Confused and short tempered
- Dizziness and light headedness
- Pounding headache
What if your pet is having a heat stroke? Your dog can't tell you in words. The first signs for heat stroke in pet dogs other than getting a thermometer out are; excessive panting because dogs don't sweat and a dark bright red tongue and gums. Certainly do not wait for stage 2 symptoms of staggering walk. It is too late to avoid damage at the last stage of seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomiting that will lead to coma or death. CAUTION: Do not use ice water to cool to fast!
The signs of heat stroke for a cat is similar to the signs for dogs except cat also lick themselves to stay cool. Drooling or foaming at the mouth is a bad sign. Even afterwards when you have cooled your cat down and it seems fine, should still take to a vet because of possible internal damage to the organs. Heat stroke is serious!
The signs of heatstroke in a pet bird are panting, holding wing away from body to cool off and agitation.
Heat Stroke Treatment for Animals
Safety Tips for your pets on Heat stroke
Yuma Proving Ground in southern Arizona is where highly motivated military top dogs train in the sweltering sun. How do the pros deal with preventing and treating canine heat stroke?
In the book, "Soldier Dogs, the untold story of America's canine heroes" by Maria Goodavage, on pages 151 - 158, chapter 28 titled, 'HEAT' is great information for any pet owner in ultra-hot conditions.
Soldiers train to carry the dog in a heat stroke and IV the dog to replace fluids - all the dogs have shaved patches on the front legs for this IV treatment. With digital rectal thermometers, the working dogs are checked for a regular body temperature of between 101 - 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. According to Goodavage, heat stroke includes, "rectal temps above 108, unwillingness to work, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, uncontrolled panting, and seizures."
A sad episode was a when a thoughtless contractor left two dogs overnight in Phoenix, one dog was found dead, the other, "received three blood transfusions and massive amounts of fluid and medication ... remain in critical condition for ten days ... long term kidney and brain damage." The dog was retired since once having heat stroke that bad - can never be deployed ever again in a heat environment.
I recommend reading about these totally amazing dogs. But there is one problem. As I wrote on the Facebook page for the book "Soldier Dogs":
"There seems to be a dichotomy with Solder Dogs having a higher rank than the handlers yet are still considered 'equipment'. A gun does not have rank.
Perhaps this is a way to get Soldier Dogs recognized as canine personnel or nonhuman personnel under UCMJ."