It’s Getting Hot in Here: Pets and Heatstroke

By May 9, 2016 Pet Care No Comments

Things are heating up and summer will be here soon. While your pets have fur to protect them when it’s cold, the heat is a different story. Make sure that your pets don’t suffer in the summer sun.

bulldog lying down pantingHeatstroke can be the result of any circumstance in which a dog or cat is exposed to too much heat for too long. Leaving an animal in a hot car is always a risk. But, if your air conditioning is out, your dog has been playing outdoors in hot weather, or your cat has been out on the porch too long, heatstroke is a real possibility. The older your animals grow, the more susceptible they are to the issue.

Dogs and cats react to heat differently than people. Dogs deal with heat by panting and they sweat through their feet. Cats also sweat through their foot pads. If overheating is not dealt with quickly in either pet, the results can be dangerous, and even deadly. It’s important to know the signs.
Dogs usually show symptoms via excessive panting. They may breath erratically and collapse. Cats may be restless, desperate to find a cool place to relax; they may also pant and breathe erratically, and collapse.

If you recognize the possibility of heatstroke in your pet, you can perform one of the following actions:

  • Check their temperature immediately, and continually.
  • Place your pet in cool water, but make sure it is not too cold. You want to reduce their temperature gently. Briefly place something frozen on their belly and between their legs.
  • Try to get your pet to drink water.
  • If their symptoms do not slow or cease, see your vet immediately.

If your pet is too far gone, a vet can administer fluids intravenously. This will provide more than your pet will gain from drinking water. Your vet will also need to check for other problems, such as kidney failure, blood pressure, and neurological problems.

Always exercise caution; you can protect your pet from heatstroke. If your pet should  need help, however, we can help you at Pet Vet Hospitals.