03077-A: Cooling Strategies During Exertional Hyperthermia

Grant Status: Open

Grant Amount: $14,663
Cynthia Otto, DVM, PhD; University of Pennsylvania
October 1, 2022 - March 31, 2024

Sponsor(s): American Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Foundation, Golden Retriever FoundationĀ®

Breed(s): -All Dogs
Research Program Area: General Canine Health
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One of the greatest risks for working and sporting dogs is heat injury. Exposure to high temperature environments or generation of heat through exercise can lead to a progression from hyperthermia (increased core temperature), to heat stress (initial physiologic response to increased core temperature), to heat injury (changes in physiologic function, mild-moderate organ damage) and ultimately to heat stroke (heat injury with neurologic signs and organ damage). To eliminate heat, dogs are unable to sweat, except through their paw pads. A dog’s core temperature can reach over 105°F during normal exercise. Although this body temperature does not result in heat injury in most conditioned dogs, it does put dogs at risk of heat injury/heat stroke if activity continues or heat dissipation is compromised by the dog’s own physiology or the environmental conditions. Dog owners/handlers are taught to recognize the signs of heat stress and respond by stopping activity and cooling the dog. One of the classic cooling methods recommended in veterinary literature is to apply isopropyl alcohol to the paw pads to enhance evaporative cooling. Alternatively, submersion of the dog in cool water has been suggested. No study has ever evaluated the comparative cooling efficacy of these two methods. This cross-over study will compare the core temperature response to each active cooling method to no active cooling in 10 conditioned dogs with exertional heat stress following sprint intervals for 10 min or peak temperature of 105°F. Results will provide important guidance for the health of exercising dogs.


None at this time.

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