Animal Hospital News. Pets and Heat Stroke

Animal Hospital information on Protecting Your Pet from Heat Stroke

During the summer months it is important to remember that dogs and cats have a limited ability to deal with the heat. These animals are very easily overwhelmed by heat, which can lead to heat stroke.

Heat stroke happens when your pet’s body is not able to cool itself down in a sufficient matter. Unlike humans that are able to sweat to expel heat, pets do not have sweat glands, so they rely on panting at a rapid rate to cool themselves down. However, sometimes panting will not cool their bodies down at a fast enough rate to prevent heat stroke. Heat stroke causes illness, organ failure, and sometimes death. Animals are at an increased rate of heat stroke when being stuck in a hot car or exerting physical activity in high heat.

The following are some tips to avoid heat stroke:

* Keep plenty of water available for your pet

* Keep your animal inside on hot days

* Never leave your pet alone in the car

* Use air conditioning, fans, or kiddie pools to keep your pet’s temperature down

* Don’t exercise your pet during the hottest hours of the day (i.e. mid day around noon)

* Give your pet breaks during exercise

Signs and Symptoms of Heat Stroke:

* Excessive panting

* Muscle twitching

* Anxious or dazed look

* Vomiting

* Weakness

* Increased drooling

* Diarrhea

How to treat heat stroke:

If you suspect your pet has succumb to heat stroke, take them out of the sun and heat and attempt to cool him with cold water and damp towels and try to entice them to drink. Following that, take your pet to the vet as soon as possible since the condition can cause organ damage or possible death.

The above information was referenced from the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association