Heat Stroke in Dogs | Diagnosis and Tests

Diagnosing Heat Stroke in Dogs

Initial Evaluation

Fortunately, heat stroke, also referred to as “hyperthermia,” is usually fairly easy to diagnose. Most dogs suffering from this condition will be taken to a veterinarian with a recent history of excessive panting, lethargy, weakness and/or collapse. The veterinarian will quickly take the dog’s rectal temperature, which in the case of heat stroke will be markedly elevated. This, together with the ambient outdoor temperature and the owner’s account of the dog’s recent activities, usually will be enough to make a definitive diagnosis of heat stroke.

Diagnostic Procedures

The dog’s presenting condition and its recent history of confinement, exertion or other exposure to high temperature extremes will strongly suggest that it is suffering from heat stroke. Nonetheless, the veterinarian still will conduct a quick but thorough physical examination, usually including a short neurological examination to assess the dog’s coordination and mental status. Sadly, dogs that have deteriorated to the point of being confused, disoriented, lethargic and recumbent, where they are lying down listlessly and are not able to get up, have a much worse prognosis than those that don’t have signs of neurological damage at the time they are brought to the veterinary hospital. Most veterinarians will take blood samples and submit them to a laboratory for a complete blood count (CBC) and a serum chemistry panel. The results of those routine blood tests will be abnormal in several areas in animals suffering from heat stroke.

Special Notes

Owners should take extra care in hot, humid weather to make sure that their dogs and other pets have access to fresh water, an air-conditioned environment and/or lots of shade. Fortunately, if heat stroke is caught early, it is relatively easy to diagnose and treat.

Source: PetWave

MATCHING TOPICS OF INTEREST

Coonhound Paralysis

Coonhound Paralysis in Dogs: Learn about Coonhound Paralysis, including how it can affect your dog,...

Hot Spots (Acral Lick Dermatitis)

Hot Spots in Dogs: Learn about Hot Spots, including how it can affect your dog,...

Dog Flies (External Parasites)

Flies in Dogs: Learn about Flies, including how they can affect your dog, and what...

Dog Acne (Pimples)

Acne in Dogs: Learn about Acne, including how it affects your dog, and what options...

Motion Sickness in Dogs

Motion Sickness in Dogs: Learn about Motion Sickness, including how it can affect your dog,...

PETWAVE: POPULAR TOPICS

Dog Health Dog Health
Learn about the most common diseases affecting dogs
Puppy Training Getting a Puppy
A new puppy in the house can cause quite a whirlwind of excitement
Dog Breeds List of Dog Breeds
Comprehensive list of dog breeds with specific breed information

Find a Dog Breed?

With so many dog breeds to choose from, sometime it's easier to seach based on certain characterisitcs.

Caring for your Dog?

There is more to caring for your dog than just feeding it. Find out all you need to know to make sure your pet stays healthy.

Training your Dog?

A dog's behavior plays a key role in making a great pet. Training your dog makes a happier dog, and you will be happier too.

Ask a vet?

Have a question?
Ask a Vet Online NowSM

About Us | Review Board | Badges | Tell a Friend | Bookmark this Page | Submit Feedback | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy
Dog Breeds | Cat Breeds | Dog Health | Cat Health | Dog Training | Cat Training | Dog Care | Cat Care | Dog Nutrition | Cat Nutrition

Advertise on petwave.com - A Pet360 Media Network Partner

Become a Fan of Petwave.com on Facebook Become a Fan on Facebook Follow PetWave.com on Twitter Follow PetWave.com on Twitter Email Friend about Petwave.com Tell your friends about PetWave

© 2014 PetWave Corporation. All rights reserved
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a veterinarian. PetWave disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
For more information view our Terms of Service.