Heat stroke can be fatal - Lilly the pug's lucky escape

Lilly is a 3 year old female pug. Lilly came to us on a particularly hot day this month after she had been out walking with her owners and collapsed. When she arrived at the clinic she was in severe respiratory distress with a frighteningly dangerous body temperature of 42.6 degrees (normal range for a dog is 38-38.5)

Lilly was placed on intravenous fluids at a high rate to prevent shock and help cool down her body. Wet towels and an ice pack were placed over her body and because of her respiratory distress she was given an emergency anaesthetic to allow us to control her breathing and slow her racing heart rate. This allowed her to relax while we slowly reduced her body temperature to normal.

Lilly was transferred to an emergency centre for monitoring overnight. Her owners were informed about the high risk of liver or renal problems that may follow. After a few nights at the emergency centre and follow up blood and urine tests, Lilly was given the all clear much to the delight of her very worried owners.

Heat Stroke can be fatal

Dogs do not tolerate high temperatures as well as humans and if they are unable to cool down will signs of Heat exhaustion which can quickly progress to Heat Stroke

Heat stroke is an emergency that requires immediate recognition and prompt treatment.

Certain breeds can be predisposed to heat stroke due to their short noses (narrowed airways) eg. pugs, staffordshire bull terriers,boxers, cavalier king charles spaniels and shih tzu to name only a few.

Learn to watch your dog

The best method of treatment is prevention.


1. Do not expose dogs to prolonged heat, avoid hot cars and direct exposure to the sun.
2. Restrict exercise during the heat of the day.
3. Provide shade and cool water at all times
4. Cool baths can help to reduce body temperature.

Signs to look out for:

1. intense, rapid panting
2 wide eyes
3. salivating
4. staggering and weakness

Advanced heat stroke victims will collapse and become unconscious

If your pet shows any of these signs phone us immediately.
If left untreated this condition is fatal.