• Acting dizzy and or disorientated, i.e. stumbling, having trouble walking, walking into walls, etc.
• Decreased urination
• Black stools
Later Signs as it Progresses:
• Irregular heartbeat
• Pinpoint areas of blood that shows on the skin
• Vomiting (stomach contents and/or blood)
• Muscle tremor
• Body temperature above 103 F (39 C) Note: temperature should be taken with a canine rectal thermometer and normal temp is 100 F to 102.5 F (38 C to 39.2 C).
Symptoms Right Before Fatal Stage:
• Cardiac arrest
• Kidney failure
• Inability to breath
What to Do:
1- If your Shih Tzu has heat stress or stroke, bring your dog into the house or to a shady spot if you cannot reach the house.
2- Your 1st instinct may be to rush your dog to the veterinarian or animal hospital - however in moderate to severe cases, this can make things worse for the dog - Body temperature must be stabilized before transporting your Shih Tzu. If stopping activity, drinking fresh water and cooling down inside does not stop the succession of stroke, here is what to do:
- Soak down towels with cool water NOT cold (it would shock the dog) and gently lay the towels all over the body. (If you are outside, pour 3/4 of any water that you have over your Tzu and call for help).
- With the wet towels in place, use fans to move air over your dog.
3- Continue working to cool down your dog and keep checking body temperature (rectally). Once it is below 103 F (39 C), it will be time to carefully transport your dog to the veterinarian or closest animal hospital.
The veterinarian will test your Tzu to make sure that there is no lasting damage to the brain or organs. IV fluids may be given. An overnight stay or several days in the hospital may be needed.
Note: Please remember that this sort of issue can spiral quickly, and at the same time, you don't want to shelter your Shih Tzu inside all summer long, limiting exercise and outdoor fun. Therefore, taking a balanced approach and following guidelines - without being overly paranoid - will allow both of you to enjoy nice, sunny weather.