Exercise Induced Hyperthermia in Dogs

Hyperthermia is a condition described as the elevated body temperature and may affect dogs during warmer days or even after exercising. The exercise induced hyperthermia is common in the summer months and some dogs may be more prone to developing this condition.

Causes of Exercise Induced Hyperthermia in Dogs

When a dog exercises, his heart rate will increase and the heart will pump more blood to the tissues, this resulting in the heating up of the body.

Dogs may develop exercise induced hyperthermia (EIH) when it’s warm outside or after a long exercise routine.

How Resistant to Heat Is Your Dog?

Your dog sweats through his paws and when he gets overheated, he may suffer from hyperthermia, as the heat cannot be eliminated fast enough through the paws.

Your dog’s resistance to exercise and heat may depend on several factors:

  • The amount and intensity of exercise, some dogs may develop EIH after only 5 to 10 minutes of running around while others can take 30 minutes of running alongside your bike
  • The outside temperature
  • The length of the coat and whether the dog has a double coat or not
  • His age
  • His health condition and level of fitness

To test how resistant your pet is, you should exercise him and watch out for the symptoms of exercise induced hyperthermia.

Symptoms of Exercise Induced Hyperthermia

Some of the symptoms of exercise induced hyperthermia will include:

  • Excessive panting
  • Drinking a lot of water
  • Drooling
  • His body temperature (the normal temperature of a dog shouldn’t exceed 103 degrees)
  • Sudden collapse
  • Seizures
  • Temporary blindness

You should be able to differentiate between overheating and exercise induced hyperthermia. Typically, if your dog is overheated, he will recover 10 to 15 minutes after discontinuing the exercise. If he has EIH, his body temperature will be elevated even hours after stopping to move. His temperature may be 105 after only seconds of exercise.

Cooling the Dog Off

If the dog suffers from exercise induced hyperthermia, he may develop additional complications such as central nervous system damage, as the dog’s temperature may reach over 108 degrees.

However, if you are able to cool his body off in a timely manner you can avoid damage.

You should avoid using ice, as applying this directly on the dog’s skin may cause an adverse reaction and the dog may heat up even more. Instead, apply some cold compresses or sprinkle some water on your dog’s fur.

Give your dog a lukewarm bath and keep a moist towel on his back until his temperature is stable.

You should watch out for your dog’s temperature, as he may easily be hypothermic.

Preventing Exercise Induced Hyperthermia

If you know your dog is prone to developing exercise induced hyperthermia, you should avoid exercise in the hot weather and whenever he is exercising, you should watch out for symptoms of EIH, so that you can immediately stop.