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Heat Stroke

What are the signs of heatstroke?

Panting furiously (I call it roaring, they will make a lot of noise when they breath, and you can hear that the airway sounds swollen) Muddy pink color or bright brick red colored gums

Their body temperature which is normally 101 to 102 will be 105 or higher (having a rectal thermometer on hand will really help out here) This is a MEDICAL EMERGENCY and is life threatening ! You will need your veterinarians assistance, but first you need to cool down your bulldogs body temperature.

Either fill the bath tub with cool water or use a hose ( if you use a hose let the water run continuously over the dog, and pay particular attention to the groin area ) The groin area has a lot of blood vessels in the area that will help cool the dog. Do not use ice water to cool your dog down ! Ice water will cause the blood vessels near the surface of the skin to constrict down, and will not allow heat exchange. You can give your dog some ice cubes to eat if they will eat them. Eating ice cubes will help bring down your dogs temperature, and it will also help reduce swelling in the throat. Do not cover the dog with a wet towel! It prevents heat from escaping.

Once you have cooled down your dog, now is the time to contact your veterinarian. If your dogs body temperature went higher than about 108, cell damage to the kidneys, liver, heart and brain can occur. The extent of the damage will depend on how long the temperature was above 108. Your veterinarian will give your dog intravenous fluids, and monitor the kidney and liver functions. Your bulldog will have a “ sore throat “ for several days, and it is a good idea to have your veterinarian give your dog a shot of steroids, to prevent swelling in the throat. It is much better to prevent a heat stroke from ever happening, than it is to treat it.