Heatstroke – See It Coming: Canyon’s Story

Heatstroke affects all body systems and causes thermal damage to numerous tissues.

It is no light matter. Some of the most dire effects of heatstroke include:

  • kidney damage
  • damage to the GI tract
  • liver and heart damage
  • brain damage
  • bleeding abnormalities

Further information: Canine Heatstroke: Signs, Symptoms And Treatment Of Heatstroke in Dogs

Thank you, Brook, for sharing Canyon’s story.

Heatstroke - See It Coming: Canyon's Story

Canyon’s story

That evening we took the dogs over to the park across the road for a short game of fetch.

It was sunny, but there was a breeze, so we didn’t think anything about taking the dogs out. Canyon hadn’t played fetch in the park since the previous week, so we knew he’d be excited to go.

After walking a few minutes to the park, we let all of the dogs off leash and began throwing the toy. Canyon ran to get it eagerly every time.

We probably played for 10 minutes before he wandered over to lay down under a big tree. 

At this point, we stopped and put everyone back on the leash. Canyon was panting a lot, but we didn’t think there was an issue. It was normal for him to pant more than the labs after a game of fetch.

We were only out for about 25 minutes, so we didn’t think it was a big deal. It was…

Canyon is not well

As soon as we got home, Canyon went over and laid beside the water bowl, but didn’t drink. 

This was not normal for him. His panting seemed louder too, which really concerned me. I got Canyon up and had him follow me down the stairs into the living room where he could lay down on the cold floor.

Excessive panting

He panted and panted and I was worried.

As his panting began to slow, I got a bowl of water and brought it down to him. He only wet his tongue. This really worried me, so I got my water bottle out of the fridge and placed it on his groin area, it seemed to help him cool down even more.


I then got some beef broth and offered it to him, he drank a bit of it, but then threw it back up shortly afterward with some thick mucus.

Canyon ended up throwing up a few more times. I worried, but Huib still felt he was okay, that he just needed to cool down.

Three hours later

It took about 3 hours before Canyon began looking better and it wasn’t until close to midnight that he decided to take a big drink of water. I think it helped because his panting had slowed and he was perking up. We gave him a coolish bath and then brought him back down into the living room.

After he drank water, we stayed up another hour to make sure he didn’t throw it up and when he didn’t we all went to bed.

In the morning, I couldn’t be happier to have him greet me at the side of the bed with a ball in his mouth and his tail wagging when I reached for it.


From our research, it looks as though Canyon had a bit of both heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

From now on we’re going to be extra careful with our golden boy. He has never had this issue before, but we’re thinking his coat seems a bit thicker than previous years, so it’s possible that even though it normally wouldn’t have been too warm, it was.

Dogs having fun are not likely to slow down until the heat already hurt them. It’s up to us to be diligent and watch out for signs of trouble.

Did your dog even suffer heat exhaustion or heat stroke?

Related articles:
Canine Heatstroke: Signs, Symptoms And Treatment Of Heatstroke in Dogs
Heatstroke in Dogs: What Happens In The Dog’s Body with Heatstroke?

Further reading:
5 Signs of Heat Stroke in Dogs

Categories: ConditionsEmergenciesExcessive pantingHeatstrokeReal-life StoriesSymptomsVomiting

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Jana Rade

I am a graphic designer, dog health advocate, writer, and author. Jasmine, the Rottweiler of my life, was the largest female from her litter. We thought we were getting a healthy dog. Getting a puppy from a backyard breeder was our first mistake. Countless veterinary visits without a diagnosis or useful treatment later, I realized that I had to take Jasmine's health care in my own hands. I learned the hard way that merely seeing a vet is not always enough. There is more to finding a good vet than finding the closest clinic down the street. And, sadly, there is more to advocating for your dog's health than visiting a veterinarian. It should be enough, but it often is not. With Jasmine, it took five years to get a diagnosis. Unfortunately, other problems had snowballed for that in the meantime. Jasmine's health challenges became a crash course in understanding dog health issues and how to go about getting a proper diagnosis and treatment. I had to learn, and I had to learn fast. Helping others through my challenges and experience has become my mission and Jasmine's legacy. I now try to help people how to recognize and understand signs of illness in their dogs, how to work with their veterinarian, and when to seek a second opinion. My goal is to save others the steep curve of having to learn things the hard way as I did. That is the mission behind my blog and behind my writing. That is why I wrote Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog, which has turned out being an award-winning guide to dog owners. What I'm trying to share encompasses 20 years of experience.

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