Leo the Labrador Rescued After Overheating on Hike

Salt Lake County Sheriff's Search and Rescue

Leo, a 120-pound yellow Labrador, has a group of rescuers to thank for saving him after the team carried him back down Mount Olympus.

The pup almost didn’t make it, after running out of water in the sweltering heat.

Labrador Overheated While Hiking in Utah

The yellow Lab was hiking with his owner, and the two set out to hike Mount Olympus in Utah around 11 am.

The hiker and his pup were just below the summit when Leo started showing signs of overheating, and couldn’t go on. According to the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue, poor Leo would no longer move on his own.

The hiker tried to keep his pup hydrated and cool, but Leo’s condition did not improve and their water supply, unfortunately, ran out. Afternoon temperatures were nearing 100 degrees Fahrenheit on the west-facing mountain.

That’s when he had to call for help.

Two teams of rescuers were sent up the mountain, “with large amounts of water and rescue equipment to carry the dog down the trail,” according to the rescue organization.

Leo the Labrador carried off the mountain
Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue

As the team cooled poor Leo with fans, the pooch managed to drink 4 or 5 liters of water. However, he was still too weak to walk back down the mountain on his own. The team loaded the dog into a litter and was carried down.

Leo was then rushed straight to a nearby vet.

Strenuous Exercise in Heat Can Be Deadly for Our Dogs

Incidents like these are why it is so important to understand the risks associated with exercise in the summer heat, and how it can be deadly for our dogs.

Dogs don’t sweat the same way that we do to cool off, and they can overheat much easier. Otherwise, very healthy dogs can experience issues and serious, irreversible damage. In fact, it can take only a matter of minutes for your dog to rapidly decline due to overheating. Because of this, it’s extremely important to know what symptoms to watch for.

The faster you can identify the symptoms of overheating, the more likely you are to prevent severe medical complications such as heat stroke or even death.

Symptoms to Watch Out For:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Excessive drooling
  • Heavy panting
  • Eyes looking glazed over
  • Vomiting and bloody diarrhea
  • Bright red gums and tongue
  • High body temperature (104 degrees F and up)
  • Weakness or collapse
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Seizures
  • Unconsciousness

What to Do if Your Dog is Overheated

  • Immediately move your dog inside where it is cooler
  • Take the dog’s temperature, if possible
  • Put your dog in a bathtub of cool water, or wet their fur with a towel soaked in cold water, but keep the head elevated
  • Offer your dog small amounts of water to drink. Avoid letting them drink a large volume, in case it might make them vomit
  • Call your veterinarian or an emergency animal clinic

If you think that your dog might be experiencing heatstroke, please contact your veterinarian immediately. Even if your dog seems to have made a full recovery, you should still have them checked out by a professional.

Heatstroke can cause internal problems that you might not be able to see, such as swelling of the brain, kidney failure, or intestinal bleeding. Never leave your dog in a car with the windows closed, even if it’s parked in the shade. When your dog is outdoors, make sure they’re in a well-ventilated area with plenty of water and access to shady spots.