Heat stroke is a veterinary emergency

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These sad images correspond to Fiji, a 14-month-old puppy. His owners left him in the car while they went to a mall. A neighbor alerted a policeman of the situation who, along with other people, did everything possible to help the animal.

WARNING: These images may hurt sensitivity

Unfortunately, Fiji died hours later at the veterinary clinic due to internal bleeding caused by heat stroke.

It is obvious that we should NEVER leave an animal inside the car unattended, even if the temperature is not high (these events happened in February) but what to do if we believe that our friend may be suffering from heat stroke?


We will wet the abdomen and nape of the neck abundantly and fan, since the evaporation of that water lowers its surface temperature. We should never try to get the animal to walk. If we have to travel it by car to the clinic, we will use the air conditioning “butt” or, failing that, we will leave all the windows wide open.

It is not advisable to use ice, as it causes a vasoconstriction that would make heat exchange even more difficult. NEVER use medication on your own, as many of them could worsen the condition.

In situations of heat stroke, a multisystem failure occurs, which is why it is so important to go to a veterinarian. Normally these dogs must remain one or two days admitted, since, although the temperature has been lowered, there are usually problems of blood coagulation and severe renal failure.

Existen prendas especiales para favorecer la pérdida de calor por parte del animal, como este chaleco refrigerante.


Laura Pérez – Orthocanis Veterinarian

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