Summer is here, the warm days are enjoyable, but we need to be watchful for heatstroke in our pets.
Heatstroke occurs when the body temperature of our pets is raised above 40 degrees C., causing heart and brain issues and can quickly lead to multi-organ failure. Signs of heatstroke include excessive paning, red or pale gums, red tongue, loss of coordination, collapsing, vomiting and diarrhoea, mental dullness, seizures and death.
Dogs cannot sweat, instead they lose heat through panting (evaporation), lying on cold surfaces (conduction) and via voll water or air (convection). All these methods are much less effective with hotter environmental temperatures and higher levels of humidity.
In hot weather limit exercise during the heat of the day, and ensure your pet has plenty of fresh water and shade. It is important to never leave your pet in a hot car, even if it is in the shade and with widows partly down.
Other risk factors for heatstroke include:
- Brachycephalic dogs (short nose so less effective panting)
- Laryngeal paralysis dogs (noisy breathing most common in older dogs)
- Heart disease
- Certain medications
If you are concerned your pet is experiencing heatstroke, please contact your vet immediately, and start slowly cooling y our pet by covering them in wet towels (do not use ice). Veterinary treatment involves trying to correct the cardiovascular impairment, and prevent multi-organ failure.
Instead of taking y our pet out in a hot car this Christmas, consider buying them some new toys and treats to keep them happy at home. We have a great range of products at Levin and Horowhenua Vets to fill your furry pets’ stockings, so come down and take a look.