Meet Shorty

Shorty is a very active 3-year-old Corgi. As you can see in the photo, going to the beach is one of his most favourite pastimes. He will spend all his time out and about if he is allowed.

Unfortunately, about a few weeks ago, Shorty had an episode that scared his mum and dad. It was a typical Melbourne January summer day, Shorty was let out in the backyard to do his daily exploration and play time. Shorty’s parents were both occupied and not supervising Shorty in the yard, and as an active dog, he was playing in the heat for a long period of time. Eventually his parents found him collapsed in the yard by himself.

Shorty was rushed to us and was assessed by our team of vet and nurses. At the initial examination we found he had a rectal temperature of 41.3 degree Celsius. He was diagnosed with heat stroke.

Heat stroke is a true emergency that will need intensive care and has potentially lethal consequences. It occurs when heat-dissipating mechanisms of the body cannot accommodate the excessive heat. This can lead to multi-systemic organ dysfunction. To prevent this, Shorty was immediately put on intravenous fluid therapy and the team started to cool Shorty down with cool water towels and a fan. He was closely monitored during the cooling down period and was sent to 24 hour emergency centre after he was stabilised. A heat stroke patient will need to be monitored for a minimum of 24 hours post episode and needs continuous monitoring for several days after. Additional blood test such as a blood clotting profile will need to be done as a condition called DIC (Disseminated Intravascular Coagulopathy) can happen as a consequence of heat stroke. This means that the protein clotting factors are denaturalised due to excessive heat and the animal will eventually bleed out internally.

Luckily, Shorty had a remarkable recovery and he is back at the beach again, of course now, with close supervision!