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  • Holly Adams

Signs Your Boxer Is Overheating

Updated: Jul 15, 2020

  • Rapid panting with tongue hanging out and a tight look around the eyes

  • Sides are heaving

  • Abnormal digging (trying to get to cool ground to cool their body off)

  • When drinking water they shove their head in up to the eyes and toss water over their back

  • Ears and gums are pink or white or VERY red

  • Becoming uncoordinated (sign of loss of electrolytes)

Treatment Guidelines

Because overheating can be life-threatening if not treated immediately, noticing the early signs of heat exhaustion will reduce the chances of canine heatstroke and death.

  1. Watch your pooch for the above signs, especially during hot weather or a heat wave. Once you notice the signs, move your pet to a cooler area immediately, preferably with a fan. Boxers manifest signs must sooner than other breeds due to their shorter muzzle.

  2. Take your dog's temperature. A dog’s normal body temperature is 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Moderate heating usually happens at around 103 to 106 degrees, while severe heating typically occurs beyond 106 degrees. Contact your vet or the nearest emergency center and then report your dog’s temperature along with the symptoms he is exhibiting.

  3. Cool your dog off by putting cool wet towels over his neck, under his armpits, and between his hind legs. Wetting his ear flaps and paw pads using cool water is also advisable. If you are outdoors, a stream or pond can be used to help him cool down.

  4. Give your dog fresh cool drinking water. Never force water into his mouth as he may likely suck it out into his lungs. If your pooch refuses to drink, try wetting his tongue with the water instead. Do not offer ice to a dog experiencing heatstroke. If eaten, ice can cool his core body temperature too quickly, shocking his system.

  5. Finally, transport your overheated pup to your vet. Call ahead so staff can be alerted to prepare for your dog’s arrival and treatment. Your pet may need to receive oxygen, fluids, and other treatments. With severe overheating, seizure and or cardiac arrest may occur.


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