What is hypothermia?
Hypothermia is a disease. As the low temperature continues, the mammal’s ability to return to normal temperatures decreases. Hypothermia can cause the circulatory system, central nervous system, respiratory system and immune system to stop.
Untreated hypothermia can cause breathing difficulties, irregular heartbeats and confusion. Hypothermia is a term for abnormally low body temperature. Below normal temperature levels, the physiological and metabolic functions of all mammals will decrease. It may cause irregular heartbeat, difficulty breathing, and loss of consciousness, until coma.
Symptoms of hypothermia in dogs
- The first symptoms of mild hypothermia include:
Find blankets, dig holes
- Severe hypothermia:
Slow and weak heartbeat
Causes of low dog temperature
- Exposure to outside cold and humidity will cause heat loss.
- Smaller animals have a higher surface area and therefore are more likely to lose heat.
- Newborn puppies are more prone to hypothermia even at normal room temperature.
- Older pets are more prone to hypothermia.
- Hypothyroidism, low thyroid hormone production, can lead to heat loss.
Treatment of hypothermia in dogs
The goal of treatment is to restore the patient’s body temperature and prevent the loss of extra body heat.
Under mild low temperatures, the animal’s own metabolism continues to produce heat. A blanket or other insulating cover will help prevent further heat loss. Natural body functions, such as shaking, will also help restore physical strength.
Moderate hypothermia conditions require the use of external heat sources, such as thermos, heating pads.
Severe hypothermia requires medical treatment. Warm intravenous fluids help restore body temperature to normal levels. Oxygen can also be used to promote recovery.
A quick recovery may cause a sudden drop in blood pressure. Combined with low cardiac output, this may further damage the circulatory system.