Everyone loves the summertime! But our pets can also have it rough during the extremely hot weather. Here are a few tips and a video from The Animal Medical Clinic to help keep your pet cool this summer!
1. Heat stroke, also known as heat prostration, affects hundreds to thousands of dogs every year.
2. Since dogs can’t sweat like we do, they rely on panting to cool themselves. If the panting system becomes overwhelmed, or restricted in any way, the dog will overheat.
3. Normal dog temperatures range from 100 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures over 106 are an emergency and over 110 can be fatal in a matter of moments.
4. Short faced breeds, such as Bulldogs, Pugs, Boxers, and Bostons, are often more susceptible due to their inability to pant effectively. Older, geriatric dogs may also be at higher risk.
5. Dogs with heat stroke will exhibit vigorous panting, an inability to stand or weakness while standing, elevated rectal temperatures, thick, ropy saliva, and potentially deep red mucous membranes.
6. Owners should move heat stroke victims to a cooler environment, such as a shady spot or an air-conditioned room. Additionally, using cool, but not cold, tap water on the extremities and trunk can help to effectively and efficiently cool the body.
7. Do not use ICE or extremely cold water. This may trap heat internally as the blood vessels constrict to avoid the extreme cold.
8. Do not attempt to force any water into the animal’s mouth.
9. Make plans to get your pet to the veterinarian at the earliest, safe time. Do not leave your pet unattended at any time.
10. Once at the veterinarian, you may need to leave your pet for hospitalization. It may be just overnight or potentially a week depending on the severity of the heat stroke.
11. Heat stroke in cats is extremely rare and is usually associated with some extreme exercise or other traumatic event.