Heat Stroke Keep Your Pets Cool and Safe
We see cases of heat stress and heat stroke every year. Every pet is at risk for developing heat stroke, but those at increased risk include pediatric, geriatric, and obese pets, dark colored or long-haired pets, and brachycephalic breeds (like Pugs, Boxers, and Bulldogs). Pets are obviously more prone to heat stroke on the very hottest days of summer but are also at higher risk in the early summer before they have had time to acclimatize to the heat. Pets that are experiencing heat stress often have been outside in high temperatures for too long without access to shade or cool fresh water, have been vigorously exercised, or have been in a car for any length of time. It is very important to realize how hot the interior of a vehicle can get and how quickly. It is never safe to leave a pet in a parked car. Even with the windows down, in 75-degree weather the inside of a car can reach 100° F in 10 short minutes!
Clinical signs of heat stroke include excessive panting, mental dullness, collapse, and seizures. Rectal temperatures will exceed 105° F. If your pet shows any of these signs you should seek veterinary care immediately. You can start to slowly reduce their temperature at the same time as seeking veterinary attention by wrapping your pet in cool wet towels. Your veterinarian will continue to slowly reduce their body temperature by applying more cool towels and even alcohol to their foot pads to help dissipate heat. Cooling procedures should be stopped once their temperature reaches 103 degrees so as not to over-correct and cause the temperature to drop too low. In addition, your veterinarian will be treating for any seizures, heart arrhythmias, and coagulation abnormalities that may develop because of the heat stroke. Preventative measures are straightforward and include ensuring your outdoor pets always have access to fresh water and shade and only exercising them in the cooler hours of the day (early morning or dusk).
Cinema Veterinary Centre is located at 23460 Cinema Drive, suite L in Valencia 91355, (661) 253-9300.
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