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Heat Stroke in Dogs Study Results


Don’t allow your pup to run amuck in the summer, as researchers from Nottingham Trent University and the Royal Veterinary College learned more about heat stroke in dogs:

  • Researchers analysed the clinical records of more than 900,000 UK dogs. They found that 1,222 had received veterinary care for heatstroke at some point during their lives, and 14.2 percent died as a result of their heatstroke. The vast majority of dogs with heatstroke are preventable.
  • Very specific about breed, here are the breeds in the UK study noted most at risk: Chow Chow (x17); Bulldog (x14); French Bulldog (x6); Dogue de Bordeaux (x5); Greyhound (x4); Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (x3); Pug (x3); Golden Retriever (x3), Springer Spaniel (x3).
  • Walking, playing and/or running was involved with 74 percent of heat stroke.  Five percent of cases were dogs being left in hot cars, which should be zero percent. Five percent may be low, but still far too many dogs left in hot cars.
  • Heat stroke in dogs is more likely to occur in males (no reason for this difference while statistically significant may be coincidence, or perhaps male dogs are more susceptible).
  • Younger dogs in the study were more likely to have heatstroke, presumably it’s easier to over-exercise younger dogs.
  • Dogs weighing 50kg or above (110 lbs.) had almost three and a half times the odds of heat stroke compared to dogs weighing under 10kg (22 lbs).
  • Obese individuals and large or muscular dogs  had almost one and a half times the risk compared to those that were smaller than the breed average; in other words, weight does matter.
  • Age can play a role in older dogs, particularly brachycephalic breeds (dogs with limited airways), such as Bulldogs, French Bulldogs, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Pugs and many others were at increased risk of getting heatstroke just by sitting outside in hot weather. Brachycephalics were also particularly at risk of developing heat stroke if left in hot cars.

Here are additional tips on keeping dogs safe in hot weather.



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