Heat exhaustion: if your dog can’t stand the heat…
Some dogs are more prone to heat exhaustion than others. Breeds like Chow Chows and bulldogs are good examples, and many other short-nosed dogs may also be affected.
However, the most common cause for heat exhaustion are humans. Dogs left inside cars with too little ventilation. A sudden change in weather during a longer than expected shopping trip, can be fatal for a dog. The signs of heat stress are mostly obvious: heavy panting, difficulty breathing, a swollen and blue tongue. This is an emergency which requires immediate action. If this ever happens to your dog, try to resuscitate them immediately, even before you bring them to the vet. Otherwise, it might be too late.
The best first aid treatment is plenty of cold water. Ideally, emerge your dog in the bath, or in a cattle trough, if that is nearer by. Especially pay attention to drenching the head and keep doing this till you see signs of easier breathing. Then, you still need to bring your dog to the vet.
The vet may give your dog oxygen and will probably administer an injection to reduce the swelling in the throat. These life-saving measures may take place before the dog gets to the surgery, especially at a dog show, where a vet is always at hand.