Heat stroke is a leading killer in brachycephalic breeds. It can happen very quickly and under many conditions including heat, excessive exercise, heightened hormones (like during female heats or breeding), and high anxiety or exciting situations such as dog shows. Here are some signs of heat stroke, ways you can prevent heat stroke and what to do if your dog is showing signs of overheating.
Heat stroke prevention
Often times young pups do great on summer walks and hikes. But as bullies age they get heavier and less heat tolerant. A mistake many bully owners make is allowing their teenage or adult dog to endure the same exercise they did as pups. This is a huge mistake especially during summer months. Closely monitor your dog while exercising and provide a quick and easy exit plan should he/she start to overheat.
If you have a breeding program, complete artificial inseminations in an air conditioned and private area. Do not allow dogs to "tie" as this can lead to heat exhaustion and death. If attentending dog shows, closely monitor your dog and allow for a quick exit should he/she begin to become exhausted.
Signs/symptoms of heat stroke: panting excessively, skin feels warmer to touch, high rectal temperature (over 102.5), collapsing or stumbling, lying flat on ground/cool surface, an anxious expression or staring while panting, closed airways or raspy sounding when breathing, open mouth breathing, gasping for air, bright red gums that turn grey once shock sets in, salivating, lethargy, vomiting, and seizure. Here is the procedure and the items you should have on hand at ALL times in the case of heat stroke. Immediately driving to a veterinarian before employing these techniques will often kill your dog. Once your dog is stable then head to your veterinarian.