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927213 tn?1270014966

Shih-tzu / possible heat stroke?

Hi... I have a 4yr.old Shih-tzu. She was with me outside playing and suddenly she couldn't walk.
She seemed to have problems with her back legs and she seemed weak. She was fine before
we went outside. I haven't noticed any other problems in the past. My vet thought she may have
had a heat stroke. Would anyone know of anything else that may have happened to her?
5 Responses
675347 tn?1365464245
I don't know. Did she have any symptoms of heat exhaustion going alongside this weakness in her legs? (Such as: heavy panting/breathing TOO deeply/salivation/distress of any kind?).....[later stages include: dry gums as the heat prostration progresses, weakness, confusion or inattention, vomiting or diarrhea and sometimes bleeding. As the condition progresses towards heat prostration or heat stroke there may be obvious paleness or graying to the gums.]

If those early signs were absent, then I would be more inclined to think it could be spinal trouble, or possibly something else. Many things can cause a dog to go 'off its legs'. Sometimes kidney complaints can do this.

Has she been spayed? If not, there could be womb problems. That can cause these symptoms too.
927213 tn?1270014966
She did start to pant heavy and I made her sit down. That's when she tried to get back up and couldn't. She acted confused so, I took her in the house and gave her some water. I then laid her on my bed and talked to her to get her to calm down. After about 7 minutes she acted better. I of course had my vet on the phone talking to him.

It bothers me that he didn't think she needed a check-up. After reading all of the things you listed, I'm going to take her in and have him check her.

I appreciate your quick reply, ginger. I'll let you know what I find out. This has me concerned so, hopefully he will see her today.
675347 tn?1365464245
It's a great idea to have her checked. Now from what you describe, it could well be heat exhaustion. Dogs are even more prone to it than people.

Heat exhaustion is very likely to develop when it's hot and humid. It is even possible for it to develop when it is cloudy! But more likely in hot sunny weather.

I find it difficult with my dog in hot weather. She wants to go out, wants to run around. I make her wait for evening, then run her when it is cooler. Early morning is good too (but that would be asking too much from me! lol!)
If we do have to be out walking when it's hot, I drench her with tepid water first, make sure I take a bottle of drinking water and a little dish with me in a backpack for her, and give her drinks very often, as well as keeping water on her, especially on her neck and chest and belly. The water will only help a little, as it is still possible for a dog to get heat exhaustion even when wet. But if there is a breeze, the water on her will 'catch' the breeze and help cool her slightly.

I hope your dog is ok. If it was caused by the heat, after resting in a cool place, and drinking water, she should be ok. But it is best to get her checked.
927213 tn?1270014966
Well, ginger I didn't get her into the vet's office today. The vet told me he would see her tomorrow. I'll take her in early as he works until noon on Saturdays.

I believe it was a reaction to the heat. It was humid and she was chasing her ball. She made several laps and then she started the panting. When I made her rest it seemed to hit her..fast, without warning. I didn't know a young dog was effected so quickly, but it stands to reason. Heat bothers even the young and healthy. I've learned a valuable lesson. If I find out the heat was the problem. I'll let you know what I find out. Thank's for the help.
Avatar universal
Remember that Shih Tzu's can not tolerate high temperatures. They are genetically inclined to the colder mountain temperatures of Tibet (not China) where they are originally from. The worst thing anyone can do is to take them for a walk during a hot summer sunny day over 85 degrees. They will suffer if not burn their llittle paws on the hot pavement. Early morning and early evenings are best for their outings during the summer. On the other hand, extreme cold can make them sick too.
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