Summer is almost here. In some parts of the country, the temperatures are already escalating. If your dog spends any time outside, it runs the risk of developing heat stroke. This is particularly true if it doesn't have ample shade and water while it's outside, or if it gets locked in a car. Heat stroke can be fatal for dogs, especially if it's left untreated. If your dog is going to spend time outside this summer, it's important that you recognize the warning signs of heat stroke.

Increased Panting

All dogs pant from time to time. Sometimes they pant when they're tired or nervous. However, those situations will only bring on intermittent panting. If your dog is suffering from heat stroke, the panting will increase. This means that a mild bout of panting will progress until your dog can no longer stop. Its tongue will protrude from its mouth, and the panting will get worse with time. If your dog is outside, and it begins showing signs of increased panting, bring it inside and cool it down as quickly as possible.

Excessive Saliva

Depending on the breed of dog you have, it may drool quite often. However, even a dog that naturally drools non-stop will experience excessive salivation once it enters heat stroke status. This will include a steady stream of saliva coming from your dog's mouth. If you're noticing non-stop drool coming from your dog's mouth, you need to get it out of the heat immediately.

Extreme Weakness

Canine heat stroke can leave your dog extremely weak. That's because its entire body is suffering from heat-induced fatigue. Unfortunately, once your dog begins to suffer from extreme weakness, it will no longer be able to move itself to cooler ground. By that time, your dog will be completely dependent on you to get it to a cool location and provide first aid for heat stroke.

Uncontrollable Vomiting

Once your dog is in the advanced stages of heat stroke, it will begin vomiting uncontrollably. This is a sign that your dog's internal organs are being affected by the heat. It may also begin experiencing seizures, or diarrhea. If your dog has been out in the sun, and is experiencing vomiting, seizures, or diarrhea, you need to cool it down and get it to the veterinarian as quickly as possible.

Don't take chances with your dog this summer. If your dog will be spending time outside in the heat, the information provided here will help you identify the signs of heat stroke. Contact a service like the Seattle Emergency Veterinary Hospital if you need more help.