During this time of year we are known to have extremely high temperatures. Sometimes reaching upwards of 100 degrees Farenheit. And while staying cool for us may be as easy as sticking to being indoors or jumping in a pool to cool off, we must remember that if we are feeling the heat then our pets are too. Please remember to take precaution this Summer with your pets. If any animal is outdoors make sure they have adequate cool water, shade, and shelter. If possible we recommend bringing them indoors during the hottest times of the day. Our cases of animals walking through the door with heat stroke during this time of the year spike. Heat stroke is something that can be avoided. Know the signs and symptoms to look for and what you can do immediately at home if your pet suffers heat exhaustion. Excessive panting and signs of discomfort indicate overheating. However, it is important to be aware of the ambient temperature and take appropriate preventative measures. It is essential to remove the dog from the hot environment right away. If he/she is unconscious, make sure no water enters the nose or mouth as you follow these steps. DO NOT give the dog aspirin to lower its temperature; this can lead to other problems.
Put your dog in the bath tub or grab a water hose if outside,
Run cool (not cold) water over your pet, covering the whole body, especially the back of the head, neck, and paw pads.
Keep the head elevated to prevent them from aspirating.
Massage the legs. A vigorous rubbing helps the dog’s circulation and reduces the risks of shock.
Let the dog drink cool water as he/she is able to.
Get immediate veterinary attention. Heatstroke can cause unseen problems, such as swelling of the brain, kidney failure, and abnormal clotting of blood. On the way to the veterinarian, travel with the windows open and the air conditioner on.
Heat stroke can be prevented by taking caution not to expose a dog to hot and humid conditions. This is especially applicable for dogs with airway diseases and breeds with shortened faces (e.g., the Pug, Bulldog, Shi Tzu). In addition, dogs that enjoy constant exercise and playtime — such as working dogs (Labradors, Springer Spaniels, etc.) — should be closely monitored for signs of overheating, especially on hot days. NEVER NEVER NEVER leave your dog in a car with the windows closed, even if the car is parked in the shade.
For more information checkout our most recent LIVE discussion with our newest team member to Mission Veterinary Hospital, Dr. Kurkowski!