Excessive panting in dogs on steroids

In addition to being left in a vehicle in the summer, dogs that are confined on concrete runs without shade will also quickly go down due to severe heat stroke, especially if the dog is a short-nosed breed (Pugs, Boxers, Bull Mastiffs, Japanese Chins, Pekingese, or Bulldogs).  People who take their dogs to a groomer during the summer also need to make sure their dog is not muzzled while placed under a dryer, as it it dangerous and can be life threatening–especially if the dog suffers from airways disease or has a physical condition that impairs their breathing.

How do dogs cool off?
While dogs have a small amount of sweat glands (which are prominently in the paw pads), their primary source of heat exchange (., getting rid of heat) is by panting. Vasodilation (., dilating of blood vessels [which can cause a flushing appearance on the skin]) is another method. Lastly, they are capable of sweating a little via their paw pads.

Panting is the primary method, while vasodilation is likely the second most important. Vasodilation helps bring hot blood directly to the surface of the skin, allowing for the blood to cool before returning back to the heart.

As for heat release and sweating through the paw pads — as a veterinarian — I think this is relatively rare and uncommon. I work with a lot of fit, athletic dogs (., Greyhounds and sled dogs) and have yet to see a dog’s feet sweat much while exercising. So, yes, while your dog has some sweat glands there, it’s likely a minor method of heat release.

Symptoms of overheating
If you’re running with your dog and notice the following clinical signs, it’s time to slow it down. These are early signs that your dog is overheating:

Has your dog started to pant more than it seems he should? This is a relatively common concern for dog owners. In many cases, increased panting is not a sign of a serious, underlying health condition. It may simply be related to an increase in environmental temperatures, a thicker coat (as often occurs in the winter), or the aging process. But, if your dog’s panting is extreme or it is accompanied by other symptoms (anxiety, lethargy, coughing, difficulty breathing, a change in voice, harsh respiratory noises, increased thirst and urination, poor coat quality, or skin problems), make an appointment with your veterinarian.

While normal panting serves a useful function, abnormally excessive panting is often a sign of serious problems. Brachycephalic breeds -- such as bulldogs, pugs, and Boston terriers - have particular difficulty recovering from heat-related exhaustion because of their physical structure. (These dogs are distinguished by their protruding exposed eyes, extremely short pushed-in noses, and small nostrils.) Don't ignore these dogs' panting if it lasts for more than ten minutes at rest in a cool environment. Think about it. Have you ever needed more than ten minutes to catch your breath, even after strenuous exercise?

If your dog seems to be spending more time at his water bowl than he used to, whining to go outdoors more often and waking you up for nocturnal outings to eliminate, these are indications that it is time to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. From the day you suspect an increase in your dog's water consumption until the day of your dog's veterinary appointment, measure the amount of water you put into his bowl and keep track of how often the bowl needs to be refilled. This will provide your veterinarian with an accurate measurement of how much water your dog is currently taking in. Making a diagnosis before an illness progresses and inflicts adverse effects on your dog is essential in helping you to take control of your dog's health and manage his condition for a longer and improved quality of life.

Excessive panting in dogs on steroids

excessive panting in dogs on steroids

While normal panting serves a useful function, abnormally excessive panting is often a sign of serious problems. Brachycephalic breeds -- such as bulldogs, pugs, and Boston terriers - have particular difficulty recovering from heat-related exhaustion because of their physical structure. (These dogs are distinguished by their protruding exposed eyes, extremely short pushed-in noses, and small nostrils.) Don't ignore these dogs' panting if it lasts for more than ten minutes at rest in a cool environment. Think about it. Have you ever needed more than ten minutes to catch your breath, even after strenuous exercise?

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