Eleven dogs with fatal heatstroke were examined grossly and histopathologically post mortem. All showed multi-organ haemorrhagic diathesis with coagulative necrosis. Hypaeremia and diffuse oedema were observed in the skin (eight dogs), lungs (11), brain (11) and bone marrow (one). Congestion of the splenic pulp (10 dogs) and hepatic sinusoids (nine) was also noted. Necrosis was observed in the mucosa of the small intestine (seven dogs), large intestine (eight), renal tubular epithelium (nine), hepatic parenchyma (eight) and brain neural tissue (four). The results showed that naturally occurring, fatal canine heatstroke induces acute multiple organ lesions affecting most body systems, and suggest that the more prevalent lesions include haemorrhagic diathesis, microthrombosis and coagulative necrosis. These are probable sequels of hyperthermia-induced disseminated intravascular coagulation and systemic inflammatory response syndrome, which lead to multi-organ dysfunction and death.
- disseminated intravascular coagulation
- haemorragic diathesis and acute renal failure