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written by:

Michael Cusak


Thank you, Michael, for sharing Barney's story.  Maybe it will help save a life.

What a week end ...... visit sister in law in Norfolk, and Crufts today ........ wrong!

After late lunch (3.30pm & temperature 24 degs C in hazy sun, slight breeze ) we harness up the dogs and off we go for a stroll through the fields. We got about 1.5 miles when Barney the black Spaniel / lab started panting much heavier than normal. We stopped and asked a chap watering his garden if we could scrounge a bowl of water to which he duly obliged. Barney had a good drink and off we went. About half a mile later he started panting again, this time much deeper and obviously in distress. He throws up the water and collapses. We leave the two wives, dogs along side the road in cool and shade and head for home to get a car, ring our vets (100 miles away on mobile) on the way. By the time we got home a passer by had stopped and given the wives and Barney a lift home. Barney is now unconcious with a blue tonque, panting uncontrollably, salivating etc. We rang the local vets (10 miles) and agreed to meet there asap. After a ride from hell we arrived and Heat Stroke diagnosed with a temp of 107 degs (101 degs normal). Between myself and the vet we douse Barney in running water and after 20 mins reduce his temp to somewhere about normal but he is now convulsing and partially concious and certainly not with it. The vet administered various drugs by injection and his level of conciousness improves. After a couple of hours the vet was not happy and suggested taking him home with him and treating him overnight. We loaded up Barney into the vets car but by this time he was snapping at any thing.

The evening was spent worrying and fretting, we rang the vet about 9.00pm and Barney was stable and on sedation, drip and anti-convulsiant drugs. That night we slept (partially) on put-u-up beds. This morning we rang the vet and Barney was back to normal, drinking, peeing, tail wagging .... we cried, we thought we had lost him. We arranged to meet the vet at 10.30 am and there was our Barney - risen from the depths. He is now back home, a little subdued but eating and drinking well. No apparent signs of brain damage.

As for Crufts ........ a small price to pay to get our little black mutt back ........ :o)

Can I ask you all to identify the symptoms of Heat Stroke .... Remember, it wasn't that hot!

Physical Symptoms

  1. Panting

  2. A staring or anxious expression

  3. Failure to respond to commands

  4. Warm, dry skin

  5. Extremely high fever (at times as high as 110)

  6. Treatment

  1. Gradually immerse the dog in ice water if possible; if not,

  2. Spray it with cold water from a garden hose.

  3. Apply ice packs to the head and neck.

    Above all, TREAT the dog PROMPTLY and TAKE it to a VETERINARIAN as soon as possible.

  1. Prevention

  1. Never leave a dog in a closed automobile or unventilated garage or other enclosure for any length of time in hot weather.

  2. When dogs are outdoors some type of shade cover should be provided.

  3. Avoid excessive exercise of dogs during hot weather.

  4. Keep plenty of fresh drinking water available at all times for dogs.