When we get too hot, we sweat. When dogs get too hot, they pant. Panting is an effective way for your GSD to release heat. If the temperature becomes too hot and humid though the panting becomes ineffective.
Normal temperature falls around 38.5C/101.4F. When a dog has heatstroke its temperature can rise in excess of 41.6C/107F.
Signs of heatstroke
- Panting excessively
- Anxious behaviour
- Very red gums which turn blue in extreme circumstances
- Very rapid heart rate
- In severe cases; colapse, convulsions and shock
What you should do
- Phone your vet immediately. Only your vet can determine how severe your dog's heatstroke is
- Reduce your dog's temperature immediately; Place your dog in tepid water cooling gradually using a shower head or something similar. After that douse the dog in cool water paying extra attention to the head and neck; don't use ice cold water or cover your dog with wet sheets. Use a fan to increase the air flow over him/her to lower his/her temperature quicker
- Allow your GSD to drink as much water as it wants but only in small quantities. Add salt to the water if you have it to hand
- Continue dousing your GSD in cold water until his/her breathing starts to settle
- Do not throw water over your dog!