Brachycephalic dogs are at a greater risk during the heat but it does not mean Labradors cannot experience Heat Stroke. Heat Stroke in Labradors and other dogs are common especially in the summer and knowing what to do might just help you save your Lab’s life.
All dogs are prone to heat stroke but there are different factors that can affect a dog’s likeliness to suffer from it like:
- Coat length,
- Physical condition,
- And climate.
Signs of Heat Stroke in Labradors
A dog’s normal body temperature is 101-102 °F. When your Labrador’s body temperature exceeds 104 °F, then your Labrador may experience heat stroke. Dogs may experience heat stroke in the following situations:
- Walk or hike during a hot day,
- Too much exercising,
- Being left outside during a hot day,
- Being left alone inside hot cars,
- And more.
Your Labrador will show one or more of the following signs in he’s about to experience or is already experiencing heat stroke.
- Bright red or darker tongue,
- Excessive panting,
- Collapse ,
- Inability to move,
- And bloody stool.
How to Deal with Heat Stroke in Labradors
If your Labrador is suffering from heat stroke, you must act fast. Pull your Lab’s tongue out as far as possible to open his airways and allow him to breathe cool air in. You can give him cool water to drink to help lower his temperature. Make sure that the water is not too cold or is freezing as giving them may constrict the blood vessels – making it harder for him to cool down. Do not force your Labrador to drink if he is unconscious.
Rub an ice cube at the tip of the tongue for 10 seconds, remove it for 10 seconds, and repeat. You can also hose your Labrador or choose to soak him in a tub of cool water.
If you choose hose him and there is now available tub in the area, make sure to wet his body, especially the armpits and the belly. In critical cases, putice packs under the neck and the pits and put wet towels all over the body.
If your Labrador is panting, chances are his airways are swelling. Giving him liquid Benadryl or Diphenhydramine should help tone down – if not get rid of – the swelling. pants, his airways are also swelling. This causes him to paint harder and you have to break this cycle. It is important that you know the proper dosage of this medicine for your Labrador. In case you do not know, call your vet.
If any of those methods don’t work, you may proceed to try a method called Cool Water Enema. It’s a way to cool your Labrador from the inside. But, it is highly important to use water that is only a few degrees cooler than your Labrador’s body to avoid shock. Also, do not induce the water fast.