coupla Qs about dogs and heat

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by patandchickens, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    It's different when it's your own dog vs just other peoples' dogs you're around. So I have two really stupid basic questions:

    -- how do you know when a dog is beginning to get problematically overheated, as opposed to just "I'm hot now and need to quit playing and lay down somewhere cool for a while" normal hot?

    -- Russell is a very lean leggy hunting-type yellow lab. Fairly thin coat for a lab, although, certainly not a greyhound in any way shape or form lol. It seems like when the temperature gets to 75 F (ish) or higher, he doesn't want to do anything but lay in the shade or on a cool floor, and at 80 F and up he starts "smiling" or panting, and breathing a lot more frequently, even at rest. Does this sound within the realm of normal, or should I be worrying or taking him to the vet? I realize you may not be able to answer this all that well from just the description but am asking anyhow [​IMG]


  2. easttxchick

    easttxchick Lone Star Call Ducks

    Aug 3, 2009
    Pat, how old is Russel? I have a 3 year old yellow lab(female) that pretty much does the same thing and she is healthy.
    I THINK you would be able to tell the difference between, "Hey, it's hot and I'm going to lay in the shade all day" and a heatstroke. I believe they can actually have seizures with heatstroke.
    As long as he has plenty of shade and water(and he doesn't have an underlying heart problem), it's probably normal.
    Another factor could be high humidity if he isn't used to that. My girl has to deal with it all of the time, so it's just par for the course for her.
    Hope all is well for him.
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    He is 16 months old. (and not as fit at the moment as he's been previously, as plantar fasciitis problems plus loads o' things I gotta get done have really cut into his exercise time, sigh)

    When I had him in last summer for his shots, when i first got him, the vet listened to his heart and didn't find any problems. He'll be due for revaccination in a month or so and I was planning to ask the vet about the heat thing then. But although I really don't have lots of spare cash for taking him to the vet "recreationally" right now which is why I'm posting here, of course the whole reason I'm posting is that if y'all feel he SHOULD be examined then absolutely I will do so now rather than waiting.

    I guess my concern is mainly because this seems to start when it is really not that hot, IMO.

    He has shade and water (and is indoors much of the day with us, anyhow) -- can't use the "give him a pool of water to lay in" thing because he is the only Lab in the world who hates water [​IMG] We're working on it, and he can now be trolled into the kiddie pool if you try, but totally doesn't do it on his own and is still not *thrilled* about doing it for cookies either. Hates the hose. Silly dog [​IMG] Agility instructor suggested trying to make a homemade Cool Coat type thing for when he's acting hot, I will do that.

    Could you (singular and plural [​IMG]) elaborate more on the signs of overheating, though? I can recognize major heatstroke in any animal, I'm sure, but would like to be able to detect oncoming problems BEFORE that. I know that to dog people this probably sounds stupid to even have to ask that, but dogs are not *that* similar to horses/cats/people/etc if you have not grown up living with dogs [​IMG]


    Last edited: Jun 2, 2011
  4. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    Aug 25, 2008
    Hi Pat! I have a 6 year old black Lab - webbed toes, floats like a bobber, knows how to swim.... and he hates, hates, hates the water! Will not go out the door if it's even dripping off the trees. Heaven forbid a raindrop actually land on him.

    Meanwhile, I have a hound mix who likes to stand in the baby pool and dunk his head. Go figure.

    My boys spend most of their time inside, so they aren't very heat tolerant either. I just make sure they have plenty of cool, fresh water all over and don't get that glazed over look in their eyes.

    To quote a BYC regular,

    Good luck, have fun! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2011
  5. Arcnadius

    Arcnadius Songster

    Aug 1, 2010
    Western WI
    Found this link, thought it might be a help to you:

    Symptoms according to that site:
    Increased panting, bright red mucus membranes, such as the gums,
    weakness, increased heart rate, lethargy, stupor, seizures, coma, vomiting, and diarrhea

    If the dog is panting but otherwise seems happy, he should be okay.
  6. Okie Amazon

    Okie Amazon Songster

    Mar 22, 2011
    Midwest City
    It's very, very unlikely that your dog would become critically overheated without physical exertion or being tethered/penned somewhere in full sun with no water. If in doubt, take his temp. Normal dog temp is 100-102. Anything over 103 is definitely abnormal. Most actual heat stroke dogs have temps in the 106-107 range. I have seen one survive a 109 temp, but he had a LOT of complications, bloody diarrhea, near organ failure etc. I wouldn't worry. I don't want to do anything but lay in the sahde and pant if it's above 90 myself. Dang, I'm living in the wrong state!
  7. Brindlebtch

    Brindlebtch Songster

    Apr 15, 2009
    He's OK Pat. You just live in the Great White North and he isn't used to warm temps. You'll see him really heaving when he breathes and looking very distressed if he over heats, and then he'll collapse. I mean really collapse and not be able to get up. Hose him down constantly at that point. But I can't see Russell getting overheated at all just hanging around at the house. [​IMG] Really.
  8. punk-a-doodle

    punk-a-doodle Songster

    Apr 15, 2011
    I wouldn't worry at this point, but ask the vet next time you go in to see if they have any input. I start to sweat and feel miserable at temps over 70 degrees F, and tend to turn pale and feel like passing out under hair dryers. In people at least, intolerance to heat or cold is usually hormone related, so it's something to keep at the back of your mind if your dog starts exhibiting other behaviors or symptoms that seem linked (thyroid issues aren't terribly uncommon in dogs). But, as far as the here and now, I see no reason to worry. Your dog seems to know his limits, so just keep providing with shade and water.

    Edit: Oh, and the thin coat also makes me think thyroid. Pretty treatable and testable in dogs if you get the full panel. But, it's an expensive test, and testing doesn't always show hormone issues. Just something to mention in passing to your vet, though many aren't terribly aware of such things (haha, neither are doctors). Nothing to be concerned about though unless you start seeing major mood swings or health issues that seem tied.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2011
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    But I can't see Russell getting overheated at all just hanging around at the house.

    Me either, that's actually why it slightly concerns me when it's only 80 and he's lying there panting significantly for several hours just from lyin' there, you know?

    Thanks everyone, I feel somewhat better about it and appreciate the dog-specific details that many of you have given, that definitely helps [​IMG] I will just continue to keep an eye on him, and that was a good suggestion about taking his temperature if I was worried he *might* be overheating.

    BTW Brindlebitch he is doing *great* in agility class... [​IMG]

    Thanks y'all,

  10. Brindlebtch

    Brindlebtch Songster

    Apr 15, 2009
    Good! I hope he shows up all those border collies! [​IMG] [​IMG]

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