By Dr. Sherry Weaver
Signs of severe heatstroke are rapid panting, wide eyes, staggering, and weakness. If suspected, you can take the animal's temperature rectally. Any temperature above 106 degrees is dangerous. The longer the temperature remains at or above 106 degrees the more serious the situation. Heatstroke can be fatal in minutes! Place your pet in a tub of cool running water, or spray with a hose being sure the cool water contacts the skin and doesn't simply run off the coat.
Thoroughly wet the belly and inside the legs. If possible, take a rectal temperature to know when to stop cooling. A safe temperature is about 103 degrees. Seek veterinary attention as soon as possible even if the pet appears normal.