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Heat Exhaustion & Heat Stroke in French Bulldogs

Heat Exhaustion & Heat Stroke in French Bulldogs

French Bulldogs & Heatstroke

Frenchies are not the best at regulating their body temperatures…

This is due to their cute squishy little faces therefore it can give them a hard time breathing.

Unfortunately, this makes heatstroke much more common in Frenchies than in other breeds.

Mild cases may be resolved by moving the dog into a cooler environment this will start the cooling process for the Frenchie. If the rectal temperature is below 104°F start to begin rapid cooling by wetting the dog with cool water or immersing them in a tub of cool water (not ice water) for up to two minutes. Alternatively, place the wet dog in front of an electric fan. With doing this process it should only take between 2-15 min.  If the temperature is above 104* then please take your fur-baby to the vet ASAP.

Causes of Heatstroke in French Bulldogs

  • Leaving your dog in the car on a hot day
  • No shade or water when outside in high temperatures & humidity
  • Ignoring signs of heat stress which can be heavy panting, drooling, even digging in dirt to cool off 
  • Lack of airflow in the environment, meaning if there is not wind to help circulate.

Symptoms of heat stress this is before a heat stroke in French Bulldogs

  • Excessive panting that increases in loudness and drool
  • Blue or bright red gums, which also comes with a dark red tongue
  • Shaking or Convulsions
  • Diarrhea
  • Signs of discomfort, digging in dirt to try to cool off
  • Vomiting or gagging

Signs of heatstroke in French Bulldogs

If your dog is exhibiting any signs of heatstroke, do not hesitate, get immediate veterinary attention.

  1. Excessive panting that gets worse over time will result in swelling of the inner trachea.
  2. Dizziness or wobbly
  3. Excessive drooling I notice that under the chin will be soaked
  4. Fever over 104* can be so dangerous and may result in seizures or collapsing(remember over 104* take to ER)
  5. Glazed eyes or not responding well
  6. Lack of coordination & lethargy
  7. Loss of consciousness completly
  8. Rapid heart rate
  9. Bright red or pale gums
  10. Mental confusion
  11. Collapsing, will not move because of difficulty of breathing. 
  12. Call ahead on your way to the vet to prepare them, they can get iv and oxygen ready for the process. The difference of minutes can possiabley save your fur-baby.

How to Prevent Heatstroke in your Frenchie

As mentioned earlier, being a Frenchie owner means that you’ll always need to keep your Frenchie’s body temperature on mind, especially on those hot summer days.  Its not hard to enjoy outdoor fun with your babies you just have to be more mindful of this breed and the outdoor seasons.

  1. Limit exposure to hot & humid conditions will prevent a situation from occurring.
  2. Never leave your dog in a car with no A/C & the windows up, I have never done this, but I do know my new Tahoe turns itself off after about 10 min of running with me not in the car. You would not leave a child in the car well this is your child.
  3. When outside, ensure access to water & shady spots this will help keep them cool.
  4.  Try to walk your fur-baby on multiple short walks instead of long, its best if you try to avoid the hottest part of the day.
  5. Pay special attention to protecting your French bulldog’s paws. Note, that hot sand and surfaces can make burns and blisters to your dog’s sensitive paw pads. Therefore, I advise you to consider buying a good pair of anti-slipping dog socks or sneakers. If you can’t walk on it neither can they!

What to do if my frenchie is overheated?

  1. Move to a cooler area; try to get indoors if you’re outside. This will start the cooling process, while you are inside take temp of your fur-baby. Remember, below 103.5 F you can start the cooling process yourself, 103.5F or higher please head to the vets. You can bring frozen veggies or thermal packs to hold under the dog and around there neck on the drive to help the process.
  2. If below 103.5 you can run a cool (not cold) shower or bath over your pet, covering the whole body — especially the back of the head, neck, under armpits. Keep their head elevated to prevent aspiration pneumonia.
  3. After the bath you can also plug in a fan and lay them in front of it to help the process of cooling.
  4. Apply a cold pack to the dog’s head this will start the cooling process as well. For example, you can use a packet of frozen vegetables or anything else from the freezer.
  5. Massage their legs, a vigorous rubbing helps the dog’s circulation and reduces the risks of shock.
  6. Let the dog drink as much cool or cold water as it wants. With adding a pinch of salt to the water bowl this will help the dog replace the minerals it lost through panting.

On Amazon there are several products like cooling neck wraps, cooling mats, protective booties, battery operated fans and tons of thermal water bowls to hold cool water. Being a prepared parent is key.

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