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Heat Stroke

Heat Stroke

With the hot dog-days of summer here, we must take necessary precautions to prevent our furry companions from enduring great discomfort, pain and possibly death due to heat exhaustion and/or heat stroke.

Heat stroke is the common term for hyperthermia, or elevated body temperature. Many pets suffer from heatstroke each and every year. Severe heat stroke occurs when your pet’s body temperature is at least 106 degrees Fahrenheit… and although that sounds high, it doesn’t take long to get there!

Signs of heat stroke include, but are not limited to:

  • Excessive panting
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased salivation
  • Thick saliva
  • Red or pale gums
  • Bright red tongue
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Seizures
  • Coma

Fortunately, we can prevent our pets from heatstroke by taking simple precautions.

  • Precautions include:
  • Make sure outside pets have access to shade.
  • Restrict your pet’s exercise on a hot day.
  • Keep pets with predisposing conditions cool and in the shade.
  • Conditions, such as obesity, heart disease, respiratory problems, and geriatric.
  • Never leave your pet in a hot car, even if your car is in the shade. The temperature inside a car can quickly reach up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Provide your outdoor pets plenty of accessible water.
  • Do not dress your pets during a hot day as your pets body temperature will rise.

If able to, keep your pets indoors. Air conditioning is the best way to keep your pets cool.

Take immediate action if you suspect that your pet is suffering from heatstroke. Quickly remove your pet from the blazing heat. Use cool (not cold) water and wet your pet thoroughly. Use lukewarm water for small pets. Using very cold water can actually cause more damage. Stop cooling your pet once your pet’s rectal temperature decreases to 103 degrees Fahrenheit. Most importantly, contact your Veterinarian and take your pet to your Veterinarian for further diagnosis and treatment.

For more information regarding heatstroke causes and precautions, please contact Pet Doctor at (972) 772-7777.