Heat Stroke- keep your pets cool in the heat!

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Heat Stroke- keep your pets cool in the heat!

When the weather gets hot, our pets may have trouble adjusting to the rising temperature and need special treatment.  Heat stroke occurs when an animal’s body temperature rises above normal, which causes damage to blood proteins and internal organs and death can occur.  Even when the weather doesn’t seem too warm for the average person, pets can be more sensitive to heat because of their fur and decreased ability perspire.  The good news is that heat stroke is preventable in most cases.  Here are suggestions to help your furry friend on a hot day.

Signs of heat stroke

  • Heavy panting
  • Lethargy or collapse
  • Injected (bright red) gums
  • Labored and/or noisy breathing

Breeds prone to heat stroke

  • Brachycephalic breeds (flat faced dogs such as bulldogs, Boston Terriers, Pugs, etc)
  • Dogs with thick hair coats (Chows, Huskies, Bernese Mountain dogs, etc)

How to avoid heat stroke

  • DO NOT leave your dog alone in a car, even for a short period of time or even if it does not seem that hot outside.
  • DO provide plenty of water at all times, but be especially vigilant to keep the water bowl filled during hot days.
  • DO make sure your animal has a shaded area in the yard or a cool area indoor; remember- indoor with air conditioner is always safest on a hot day!
  • AVOID exercising your dog in the middle of the day, especially on a hot day. We often see dogs who overheat while on a hike or at the beach.

What to do if you are concerned

  • Heat stroke is a medical emergency, if you are concerned your pet has heat stroke, please move you animal to a cool location and contact a veterinarian immediately.

It’s cool to stay cool!

– Dr. Morgan Weintraub
AVS Emergency Veterinarian

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