Dangerously overheated dog rescued on Mt. Si Trail; warm-weather tips for your canine companion

King County Search and Rescue (KCSAR) volunteers responded to the Mt. Si Trail in North Bend on Monday, July 20th to help a beloved pet in distress.

According to the King County Sheriff’s Office, Kodiak – a two-year old German Shepard – was about 2.5 miles into the hike alongside his owner when he just couldn’t go any farther.

KCSAR and Washington State Animal Rescue Team (WSART) members were dispatched to help Kodiak, who it turns out was suffering from heatstroke. It hit 87 degrees in North Bend on Monday.

Volunteers hiked up to the location and helped heatstroke-suffering Kodiak, carrying him down the trail to seek veterinary treatment.

KCSO said Kodiak is expected to make a full recovery.

Preparing Pets for the Outdoors this Summer

The incident highlights the important topic of preparing your furry, four-legged hiking companion when it’s time to hit the outdoors this summer.

Most of us know the dangers of a dog being left in a hot car, but what about that thing that dogs love best, taking a nice long walk with their favorite human? Even though you might be fine when the temperature climbs to near 90, your fuzzy buddy may need a little extra care to help keep them safe.

So, before you even leave the house check the conditions where you plan to hike and ask yourself if your pup will be comfortable/is physically conditioned for the time it takes to complete that hike.

If the answer is no, you might consider going early in the morning when temperatures are cooler, choosing a shorter trail or even leaving Fido home to luxuriate in your, hopefully, air-conditioned abode.

If you do decide to take him along, be sure to have a pet first aid kit -including a thermometer, snacks and plenty of extra water. Dogs, like humans, can have varied normal temperatures. So, it’s a good idea to know what normal looks like in your pup. That way you can recognize right away when your pet is in trouble.

Dr. Mike, of Treuting Veterinary House Calls, says heat distress signs may include:

  • Weakness and/or wobbliness
  • Panting excessively
  • Disorientation
  • Anxiousness
  • Drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Temperature above 103 degrees (true heatstroke begins at about 105 degrees)
  • Collapse- like poor Kodiak

If you get to this point, Dr. Mike says you should stop and slowly cool your dog down. Get to a shady spot, let him rest while you soak towels in cool (not cold) water and drape over the dog’s head and neck.  Offer small amounts of water to drink every so often, but do not force water on him.

If your dog recovers enough to leave under his own steam, do it slowly and immediately take him to a vet.

If your pup can’t get out under his own steam, call for help like Kodiak’s people did for him. We are so glad he is likely to be out hiking again with his owner soon.

Get well soon, Kodiak!

Kodiak being secured in SAR litter basket for journey down the trail. Photo Credit: KCSO
KCSAR and WSART volunteers packing out Kodiak, 7/20/20. Photo Credit: KCS)

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  • Another dog had to be rescued Tuesday from Dirty Harry’s trail! Please think of your dogs health and safety!

  • I do hope the owner was cited for poor husbandry practices. Forcing a dog to hike is animal cruelty.

    1. There was no mention anywhere of the dog being “forced.” I’m sure, like most dogs, Kodiak was all in when it came to hiking. Perhaps too much so and he wore his doggie self out. His people did all the right things when they realized he was in trouble and likely learned a valuable lesson.

      1. Well, the lesson would have been a lot more valuable if they’d carried their dog out themselves. This mindset of help being only a phone call away should you get hungry, or roll your ankle, or neglect to bring water for Sparky just perpetuates the lackadaisical attitude too many people are wandering through life with.
        Stupid should hurt.

  • Living Snoqualmie