Pet ownership is a responsibility, so it is important to know the dangers your pet may face. Dogs and cats don’t have as many sweat glands as humans, so it is much more difficult for them to regulate their body temperature. During these hot summer months, it is necessary to know how to prevent heatstroke, the signs of heatstroke, and what to do if your pet is showing signs of heatstroke.
Providing access to a shaded, cool environment is important in preventing heatstroke. Constant access to clean, fresh water should always be provided. Never leave your pet in cars or enforce exercise during hot weather. Attempt to limit sun exposure during the hottest points of the day.
The symptoms of heatstroke are very similar between cats and dogs. There are many symptoms that point to heatstroke. You should pay close attention to your pets’ behavior, especially during hot weather. Signs of heatstroke include:
- Increasingly rapid panting- this is how they help release heat from their bodies
- Drooling or salivating
- Bright red tongue or gums
- Increased heart rate
- Muscle tremors
- Vomiting or diarrhea
What to Do
Heatstroke can cause severe damage to the organs and can even cause death. For this reason, heatstroke is always considered a medical emergency. First, you must maximize heat loss. You must provide water and attempt to dampen their fur with cool water. Don’t use ice cold water, because this can cause the animal to go into shock. Use fans to increase the amount of heat loss. Then, you should take the animal to the veterinarian immediately. A veterinarian will have tools that they can use to help stop the effects of heatstroke, as well as determine the extent of damage.
Heatstroke is one of the most dangerous aspects of summer. Knowing the symptoms will help you stop heatstroke before it does serious damage to your pet. If you think your pet is suffering from heatstroke, contact us at Borrett Animal Hospital immediately!