By: Dr. Mike Lappin, DVM


Usually occurs in animals exposed to a high environmental temperature and exposed to stress (confinement in a car, overexertion). Overweight animals as well as geriatric or infant are more prone to heat stroke. Rectal temperature can reach 105 -110 (normal = 99.5 - 102.2). Alters functions of all body organs, causes cell death and kidney failure, shock. Excess panting leads to changes in body pH and electrolyte abnormalities as well as brain swelling and death.

1. Excess panting
2. Weakness, collapse
3. Rectal temp > 105
4. Irregular heartbeats
5. Possible dehydration, vomiting, diarrhea, lack of urine output
6. Possible seizures

First Aid Treatment:
1. Lower body temperature by immersing animal in cold water or putting cold compresses or
packs on the animal (especially in the groin, neck, chest areas)
2. Attempt to get a rectal temp of 102 within 30 - 60 minutes
3. Monitor rectal temp every 2 to 5 minutes so as not to overcool the animal
4. Stop cooling when temp = 103.5; transport ASAP to hospital where animal will be put on IV therapy