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Clinic Blog

Heat Stroke and Our Pets

By June 30, 2016 No Comments

Heat Stroke

With summertime, comes high temperatures. While some breeds are more likely to get heat stroke than others, every pet is susceptible to it. Dogs with short faces (or brachycephalic breeds) such as Pugs, Bulldogs, and Pekinese are some breeds that are at a higher risk. Overweight dogs are at a higher risk as well. These types of pets need to be kept indoors with air conditioning or a fan on them. The best thing we can do for our pets is knowing the signs of heat stroke and how to react in this life-threatening situation.

There are many different symptoms of heat stroke. Below, we have listed only the most common:

  •       High body temperatures > 103 ° F (taken rectally)
  •       Heavy, rapid panting
  •       Excessive drooling
  •       Restlessness
  •       Confusion
  •       Exhaustion/Fatigue
  •       Vomiting/Diarrhea
  •       Wobbly, uncoordinated movements/Collapse

If your pet is exhibiting any of these symptoms, move your pet inside where it is air conditioned. You can try to lower your pet’s temperature by running cool (not cold) water on them and place covered ice packs around your pet. Call your vet immediately to see if your pet needs medical attention.

How to Beat the Heat

It is extremely important that your pets keep cool during high temperatures. We’ve compiled 7tips on how to beat the heat this summer.

  •  Make sure your pet has access to cool, fresh water. If your pet is outside only, have multiple bowls of water available.
  •  If possible, keep your pet inside. Especially on hot days.
  •  Make sure your pet has access to a shaded area.
  •  If your dog loves water, get them a kiddy pool. Only fill it with a couple inches of water – enough to help cool them off. Place it in a shaded area.
  •  If you plan on taking your pet on a walk, take them early in the morning or later in the evening when the temperatures aren’t so high. Where ever you walk, it is important that you check to see if the street/sidewalk isn’t too hot. You can do this by placing your hand on the pavement – if it is too hot for your hand, it is too hot for your dog’s feet.
  •  If your pet has longer hair, they may benefit from a shorter summer cut.
  •  Find some toys that allow you to freeze treats or water in them, like a Kong toy. The frozen water/treats will keep your pet busy and cool for awhile.

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