Panting is the main mechanism for an animal to release some of its body heat. Heat stroke may occur through extended exposure to heat, excessive exercise, and/or the inability to release enough body heat. Brachiocephalic (Short nosed) breeds have smaller airways, making panting less efficient. So, breeds such as the bulldog, boxer, pug, etc., as well as rabbits, tend to be more prone to heat stroke.
Signs of Heat Stroke
- Fever of 104-105 F or more
- Red gums
- Heavy panting or difficult loud breathing, often raspy or
- Weakness, staggering/incoordination or even loss of consciousness
- External and/or internal bleeding without any evident trauma
First Aid: NEVER USE ICE OR COLD WATER!
Slowly cool down using warm/cool wet towels on body, or between legs.
Immediately go to a veterinary facility to evaluate the status of such serious or even fatal changes in the body.
Delayed treatment may make the difference between an uneventful recovery and death.