A CWMBRAN man has shared his family’s heartbreak after their beloved dog died of heatstroke - and has warned other dog owners to be on guard for the signs of the potentially fatal condition.

David Healey shared the news on social media that family dog Kite – a lilac border collie who had been living with his ex-partner and their daughter for the past few months – died on Sunday from heatstroke following an early morning walk.

Free Press Series: Kite. Picture: Tom HarperKite. Picture: Tom Harper

Mr Healey told the Argus that his ex-partner Jenny Giles took Kite for a dip in the river around 9am on Sunday morning to give her a walk and help her cool down before it got too hot in the day – much like many dog owners choose to do in the warm weather to allow their pet to get some exercise while it is safer to do so.

Kite had a short walk from the air-conditioned car to the river and back to the car and was fine throughout. The air conditioning was also on for the car journey back home.


“When back home, she fell off her feet getting out of the car and could only then stand with legs splayed wide," said Mr Healey. "At this point she had vomited, and Jenny took Kite inside in front of a fan, and she was still wet from the river in hope this would help.

“Jenny called the vets to find an emergency practice that was open in Langstone. On the way to the vet, Kite died in her arms – all of this happened within 30 minutes of showing signs of illness.

“The vets said that she had got heatstroke and unfortunately this had shut her organs down.

“She was just five years old and my daughter’s best friend.”


Free Press Series: The illustration done by Jenny Giles (Creative Rebel) and daughter IslaThe illustration done by Jenny Giles (Creative Rebel) and daughter Isla

Mr Healey's daughter Isla helped her mum created this picture in memory as Kite loved to splash and catch water on her mouth at any available opportunity. Isla had said Kite will be flying now above the clouds and instead of splashing water she is now catching clouds as illustrated.

What is heatstroke?

Heatstroke is a high temperature not caused by a fever. It can be fatal if their temperature rises just a few degrees above normal. It can kill within 15 minutes and while there are some conditions which can make a dog more prone to heatstroke, all dogs can overheat if they're exposed to hot temperatures and a lack of ventilation and drinking water.

What are the signs of heatstroke?

There are a few different symptoms of heatstroke:

  • Shortness of breath.
  • Excessive panting and drooling.
  • Change in their gums or even a change in colour of their tongue. A dog’s tongue can go bright red, or even dark red, if they are suffering from heatstroke.
  • Dogs can also experience an elevated body temperature which can lead to excessive thirst, vomiting, disorientation and stumbling.
  • Dog owners may notice a weakness in their pets as well as an increased heartbeat and an increased pulse.