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Seconds count when heatstroke strikes dogs

Animals can suffer heatstroke gradually, but it accelerates quickly. It’s easy for early signs of heatstroke to go unrecognized, and for a pet to be in an emergency situation.

Here's what you need to know, according to Gina Browning of the Erie County SPCA:

• On an 85-degree day, for example, even with windows open, the temperature inside a car can climb to 102 degrees in 10 minutes, and to 120 degrees in 30 minutes.

• A dog’s normal body temperature ranges between 101 and 102.5. Therefore, it can withstand a body temperature of 107-108 degrees for only a very short time before suffering irreparable brain damage – or death.

• Signs of heatstroke include: panting, dehydration, red mouth/eyes, rapid irregular heartbeat, diarrhea, weakness and coma.

•  If your pet begins exhibiting any of these signs, contact a veterinarian immediately.

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