Hypothermia Prevention is much easier then treating
Hypothermia occurs when your dog’s core temperature drops below normal. When your dog is losing body heat faster then, he can replace it.
Normal body temperature for a dog ranges from 100 to102.5 F or 37 to 39C
In cold weather your dog will constantly be trying to maintain his body temperature in its normal range. Dogs regulate their temperature either by conserving their body heat or by producing more body heat, this is similar to how we react to cold weather.
Shivering is one way your dog can produce body heat. Piloerection is the dog equivalent to our goose bumps- with piloerection your dog’s hair stand on end thereby trapping a layer of warmed air beneath them. This creates an additional layer of insulation between your dog’s body and the cold weather, and in doing so helps him to conserve body heat; this works much better on a properly groomed dog.
Vasoconstriction is another way your dog can conserve body heat, restricting blood flow to the extremities and keeping blood flowing to the more vial body parts, i.e. the Brain Heart and Lungs.
SYMPTOMS OF HYPOTHERMIA
· Muscle stiffness;
· Lack of coordination;
· Low heart rate and Breathing rate;
· Fixed and dilated pupils;
With mild hypothermia your dog will be shivering and appear lethargic, moving your dog inside and wrapping in a blanket will probably do the trick, Passive rewarming.
As your dog’s temperature drops more sever measures are needed.
Moderate hypothermia remove dog from cold. Warm blankets and use heating pads but not directly on the skin apply to the trunk area of the dog.
Both severe and profound hypothermia need Veterinary care immediately. At the vet clinic they can administer warm water enemas and heated fluid intravenously. Many dogs don’t survive this.