Veterinary team issue warning as dog suffers from heatstroke

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25 July 2019
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Medivet’s north London’s veterinary team are urging pet owners to be highly vigilant during this week’s high temperatures after a dog was left fighting for its life from severe heatstroke.

Speedy the greyhound suffered heatstroke after just a short lunchtime walk in the park. When he was admitted to local practice Medivet Hampstead, the six-year-old greyhound was in a critical state as his body temperature reached over 43 degrees.

The Hampstead team, led by branch partner Sarah Furminger, worked hard to bring the dog’s temperature down – hosing down his body with cool water. He was also put on a drip to administer much-needed fluids.

Recognising that Speedy would require a plasma transfusion to allow his blood to clot properly, he was rushed to the nearest emergency hospital - Medivet 24 Hour Hendon. The team there continued working hard to bring his temperature down slowly to avoid shock and organ failure. Following the plasma transfusion, Speedy was placed in critical care overnight with one-on-one nursing support. He is now showing signs of improvement.

Veterinary Surgeon and Hamsptead Branch Partner Sarah Furminger said: “Unfortunately, owners do not always realise that their dogs are suffering from heatstroke as one of the main symptoms is heavy panting. If owners do suspect heatstroke, it is critical that they act quickly and seek advice immediately to give their pets the best chance of survival. While Speedy is not out of the woods yet, we are hopeful that he will make a recovery.”

Lead Veterinary Surgeon at Medivet Hendon Jerry Dunne added: "While any dog can suffer heatstroke, breeds with thick fur, short noses and those with pre-existing medical conditions, such as obesity, are at a higher risk. Similarly, extremely active or working dogs are more susceptible and should be watched carefully during this period of unusually hot weather.”

The symptoms of heatstroke in dogs include:

  • Excessive panting and/or thirst
  • Barking or whining
  • Very red gums
  • Drooling more than usual
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Lethargy, staggering, weakness or collapsing
  • Vomiting or diarrhoea

If owners spot any of these signs, emergency treatment is required straight away.