Long term effects of heatstroke in dogs

Heatstroke in dogs can happen when their body temperature reaches higher than 104 degrees. If you see your dog excessively panting, drooling, having mild confusion- they may have heatstroke. 

So, we know what heatstroke is. But, are there long term effects to your dog after a heatstroke episode? 


When dogs have heatstroke episode they can develop muscle damage throughout their body. As a result from this damage, sometimes dead muscle fibers are released into the blood stream. When this happens it is called Rhadbomyolysis, which can lead to serious issues such as renal (kidney) failure.

**Renal kidney failure means that the dogs kidneys cannot remove waste and concentrated urine.**

Neurological damage and dysfunction

After a dog has experienced a heatstroke episode some neurologic abnormalities that can be seen. Mild cases show symptoms such as disorientation or confusion. While more serious cases can result in coma, seizures and stupor.

**It is still being debated whether the brain damage in heatstroke comes directly from a brain tissue thermal injury.**

Acute kidney injury (AKI)

No matter the cause, AKI occurs when the kidneys stop working properly. This can range from sudden or acute kidney damage to a more mild condition that is clinically undetectable. When severe situations occur, dogs are susceptible to acute renal failure (ARF).

**Symptoms of ARF include: decreased urinary output, swelling (due to fluid retention), nausea, fatigue, and shortness of breath. **

Acute respiratory destress syndrome (ARDS)

Fatal heatstroke cases in dogs can lead to ARDS. This condition is one where fluid collects in the lung’s air sacs, depriving organs of oxygen. 


Other notable conditions from a heat stroke episode can also include: Hepato-billiary damage, sepsis, acute pancreatitis and DIC. More information on these can be found at the resource posted below! 

**All references and information has been sourced from the US National Library of Medicine national Institutes of Health. If you are having issues with your dog we recommend your first step is to consult your vet immediately! 

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