Bulldogs and Heatstroke


The best way to deal with heat stroke is to prevent it in the first place. Heat stroke can often be a death sentence to a bulldog. I expect all of my families who adopt one of our bulldogs to be throughly knowledgable in this department as it is one of the biggest health concerns they have. Here are some preventative tips for you and your furry friend.

1. Do not leave your bulldog in the car ever. Its best to avoid this because of fluctuating temperatures as well as the fact that bulldogs are a highly sought after breed and people will not hesitate to steal them if the oppurtunity arises.

2. Do not confine your bulldog in a concrete run, never chain or tie your bulldog up and do not have them outside where there is not adequate shade. I expect all of my bulldogs to be indoor dogs, with plenty of oppurtunities to be outside to play and explore safely. If you are intending to have your bulldog be an "outside dog," please inquire elsewhere.

3. Beware of groomers that muzzle when they are grooming. Please call ahead to see how they implement their grooming practices. Because of the Bulldogs short muzzle they cannot breath effectively when muzzled and the high temperatures from the dryer can have catastrophic consequences. 

4. Please only crate your Bulldog in a wire cage for adequate ventilation.

5. Beware of the hottest times of the day, a good rule of thumb is between the hours of 10-2 if the temperatures are high avoid activities outdoors. If you must be outside during the heat make sure it is for a minimal ammount of time and keep a spray bottle handy. If the dog begins to pant, please take them inside. Things can go from bad to grave in a matter of minutes. It is important to be aware of how your dog is tolerating the heat.

6. Make sure your dog always has a supply of cool water, whether they are inside or outdoors. I cannot stress hydration enough!!!!

Signs of heatstroke

Heatstroke begins with rapid, frantic, noisy breathing. The tongue and mucous turn bright red, the saliva is thick and the dog will vomit repetitively. Its rectal temperature is high, sometimes over 106 degrees F. The cause of the problem is obvious through the appearance of the dog, but can ultimately be confirmed by taking its temperature. If this condition is allowed to go untreated the dog will become unsteady, diarrhea will commence often with blood, they will become progressively weaker, fall into a coma and then die. This is not a condition to take lightly and must be overseen by a certified veterinarian. 



 Emergency measures must begin at ONCE. Mild cases respond to moving the dog to a cooler surrounding, such as an air-conditioned building or car. If the dog's temperature is over 104 degrees F, or if unsteady on its feet, the dog should be cooled by cool towels draped over the dog, and under its armpits. Please take your dog immediately to the veterinarians office. Heat stroke can cause swelling of the throat, this aggravates the problem. A cortisone injection may be the only way to treat this, I cannot stress visiting a certified veterinarian enough. 

If you feel like your bulldog could be suffering from heatstroke you must seek medical attention immediately. Dog do not tolerate high temperatures as well as humans, ecspecially bulldogs. They solely depend on rapid breathing to exchange warm air for cool air. Accordingly when air temperatures are close to their body temperature, cooling themselves by rapid breathing is ineffective. Dogs with a short muzzle such as the bulldog have difficulty with excess heat.