Warning to owners as dog given 10% chance of survival after suffering heatstroke on overcast day

Three-year-old Reggie was left with major organ failure and little chance of survival after suffering heatstroke.

A three-year-old dog from Newport was left fighting for survival after going on a walk during an overcast day.

Reggie the golden retriever suffered heatstroke, despite the weather not being particularly sunny, and had to receive intensive treatment over six days to save his life.

At one point Reggie's owner, Emma Moses, was called in to say goodbye to her beloved pet after vets gave the dog a 10% chance of survival.

Luckily, Reggie recovered but the vets who treated him have issued a warning to other dog owners to be on alert as temperatures are set to reach 25 degrees in some parts of Wales over the coming days.

Emma's partner, Josh, had taken Reggie for a walk near their Newport home in August when the dog unexpectedly lay down, unable to walk. 

"It had been a bit of a heatwave for a few days before, but although it was warm it was overcast so we never even thought it might be heatstroke," said 28-year-old Emma.

She thought he may have hurt his paw so took Reggie to the vets but later that evening, things took a sudden turn for the worse.

It was later that day, after the walk, that Reggie started showing other symptoms.

Reggie was sick, had diarrhoea and a seizure so Emma rushed him to the emergency vets.

Emma described how on the way there, Reggie "was shaking so hard" it rocked the car.

She added: "He was foaming at the mouth, his jaw was locked and you could see in his eyes he really wasn't there.

"When we carried him out at the clinic, his tongue was hanging out and he was a dead weight. It was just horrendous."

Things looked bleak for the poorly dog. He had suffered major organ failure, including damage to his liver and kidneys, and had serious issues with his blood. 

The veterinary team managed to get the three-year-old retriever's heart rate to improve and his temperature began to drop towards a more normal level.

But Reggie was far from out of the woods. The organ damage he had suffered can lead to blood clots and bleeding.

Reggie's condition suddenly went downhill after the walk, he started foaming at the mouth and has a seizure.

Hannah Fisher, one of the veterinary surgeons who looked after Reggie, said: "We agreed with his owner to do everything we possibly could but because he was so ill, there was a prospect of putting him to sleep on welfare grounds."

Emma received a call on the first night Reggie stayed at the vets and it was not good news.

"We were in bits, but we just wanted them to do everything they possibly could", she said. 

"They said they thought we should go in to say goodbye. It was awful as he was lying there with tubes coming out of him, but I couldn’t give up.  

"I felt that somehow he was going to make it despite being told he could go at any time." 

And Reggie did begin to pull through. His blood started to return to normal and his organs began to function again. 

It took six days of intensive care before he was well enough to go home.

At one point, vets told Emma to say her final farewell to Reggie as it did not look like he was going to make it.

Emma thanked the vets who saved Reggie and said she was "so grateful" for the "amazing job" they did. She is urging other owners to act quickly if they suspect their dog is ill.

"it just goes to show what can happen", she said.

"Although he wasn't showing any obvious signs of heatstroke, the vets think he'd overheated despite not being out in the sun on the days before when it was really hot. 

"So, if you think something’s wrong you really do need to get help just as fast as possible."

Michael Maguire, who was also one of the vets who treated Reggie, added: "Reggie's case demonstrates just how quickly dogs can suffer heatstroke even on days when the sun isn’t out. The only reason he survived is because his owners acted quickly."

More information and advice on heatstroke in dogs can be found on Vets Now website.