Heat Stroke in Dogs

Heat stroke in dogs is a condition results from high core body temperatures. Changes can occur to multiple organ systems that can lead to death. Heat stroke commonly occurs when dogs are left in the car, left without drinking water in high temperature environments, or occur as a sequalae of diseases such as seizures or upper airway obstruction.

Dogs at highest risk of heat stroke include: 


  • Short faced breeds such as bulldogs and pugs
  • Dogs and cats less than 6 months of age or senior pets
  • Pets that are overweight, ill, or have seizures, airway obstruction, fever, dehydration, heart disease or on certain medications

Signs of Heat Stroke

Common signs include weakness, panting, lethargy, collapse. Additional signs include body temperatures over 105 degrees, bruising may occur, drooling, high heart rates, vomiting and diarrhea (sometimes with blood), coma, and/or death.

What to Do If You Believe Your Dog is Having a Heat Stroke

If you believe your dog is having a heat stroke, begin cooling measure by removing your dog from the hot environment and cool your dog with cool wet towels. Call us immediately.

To Prevent Heat Stroke

  • Minimize activity on hot humid days, and limit sun exposure during the mid-day hours.
  • Pets should be walked or exercised in the early morning or late evening during the coolest times of the day.
  • Pets should be kept in a well-ventilated area.
  • Animals should never be left in a car or confined in a small enclosed space with limited ventilation and no protection from high environmental temperatures for any reason at any time.

To learn more about heat stroke in dogs – go to Heat Stroke in Dogs.