With increased temperatures and humidity, brachycephalic breeds are at an extreme disadvantage. The mouth could do all the work, but these breeds have long, soft palates in the backs of their mouths, and the palate tissue blocks the flow of air to the trachea. When any animal becomes overheated, it must receive immediate medical attention. Signs of heatstroke are usually evident and may include frantic, heavy breathing, vomiting, and the mucous membranes will appear bright red. If left untreated, the animal will appear unsteady and may stagger, bloody diarrhea may occur, and the mucous membranes will change to pale blue or gray in color.
Prevent the possibility of heatstroke by providing your pet plenty of shade, air conditioning, or a pool for water so your dog can escape the heat, and cold drinking water should always be readily available. Take walks or exercise only in the early morning or late evening when the weather is cool. Pay close attention to your pet’s respiratory rate, effort to breathe, stamina and fatigue. If your pet is suffering from heatstroke, move them out of the heat immediately. Begin cooling toward a normal body temperature by hosing them down or immersing them below their neck in cool water and placing them in front of a fan. You can also wipe their paws and paw pads with rubbing alcohol.
It is crucial to immediately bring your pet to the veterinarian after an episode of heat exhaustion to ensure secondary or delayed complications such as kidney failure, spontaneous bleeding, and seizures are not occurring.
Note: Brachycephalic breeds can benefit from surgery to improve their breathing ability.