The Dangers of Heat Stroke

As pet parents we must be diligent to make sure that our fur babies are safe and healthy.  In the upcoming months we will be experiencing warmer weather and heat waves and with the increase in temperature, our pets become more at risk for heat stroke. 

Heat stroke is potentially fatal and occurs when your pet's body temperature is higher than normal.  Pets do not sweat like humans do.  Sweating is how us as humans cool down and regulate our temperature.  Our pets thermo-regulate by panting, via their paws, and laying on cool or moist ground.  Because pet's have limited ways of releasing heat from their bodies, it's hard for them to cool down on warm days.  

Here are some tips to help you prevent your pet from having heat stroke:

-  A pet should not be left alone in a car on a warm day.  Temperatures inside the car can

   quickly reach triple digits and can be deadly for pets.

-  When the weather is warm, make sure your pet has a cool place to cool off and plenty of

   water.

-  If your pet is outside in the heat, it is imperative that they have immediate access to fresh

   water and can seek shelter in a cool shaded area or an air conditioned house or room.  

-  Taking your fur babies for walks in warm weather should be kept short.  Again clean fresh

    water should be taken with you to help cool your pet down.  

-  Limit your pet's time spent outside on hot and humid days.   

What symptoms should you be on the lookout for:

The warmer your pet gets you will notice that your pet will seem tired and sluggish.  If your pet overheats you may notice panting, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, small round purple bruises and/or bright red gums.  Some pets that are at high risk for heat stroke are bulldogs, French bulldogs, pugs and other short snouted breeds (aka brachycephalic breeds).

If your pets temperature gets too high it can cause internal organ damage so it is important to treat as soon as possible.  Immediate medical attention is needed to cool them off safely and to assess for unseen problems.  Do not try to cool your pet off with ice or water. This should be done by a medical professional. The temperature must be lowered slowly and if it drops too too quickly you can send your pet into shock.

If you suspect that your pet is suffering from heat stroke please call and bring your pet to the hospital immediately.  Our hospital is open Monday-Friday from 8am-8pm and Saturday & Sunday from 8am-1pm. 

For after-hours emergencies please go to Mount Laurel Animal Hospital.  Their address is 220 Mount Laurel Road, Mount Laurel, NJ 08054.  They are available 24/7/365.

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