Pathophysiology and pathological findings of heatstroke in dogs
Mariarita Romanucci, Leonardo Della Salda
Department of Comparative Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Teramo, Teramo, Italy
Abstract: Canine heatstroke is a life-threatening condition resulting from an imbalance between heat dissipation and production, and characterized by a nonpyrogenic elevation in core body temperature above 41°C (105.8°F). Several exogenous and endogenous factors may predispose dogs to the development of heatstroke; on the other hand, adaptive mechanisms also exists which allow organisms to combat the deleterious effects of heat stress, which are represented by the cellular heat-shock response and heat acclimatization. The pathophysiology and consequences of heatstroke share many similarities to those observable in sepsis and are related to the interaction between the direct cytotoxicity of heat, the acute physiological alterations associated with hyperthermia, such as increased metabolic demand, hypoxia, and circulatory failure, and the inflammatory and coagulation responses of the host to the widespread endothelial and tissue injuries, which may culminate in disseminated intravascular coagulation, systemic inflammatory response syndrome, and multiple organ dysfunction.
Keywords: thermoregulation, acclimatization, heat shock proteins, hyperthermia, systemic inflammatory response, multiple organ dysfunction
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