Pet Heat Stroke
Pet heat stroke is a dangerous condition that affects many pets every year. At Waldorf Emergency Care, we often treat pets affected by heat stroke. This is particularly true in the summer, when pets are at risk for problems like heat illness. Knowing the signs of heat stroke, what causes heat stroke and how you can protect your pet from heat stroke can help you take care of your pet in summer.
Symptoms of Pet Heat Stroke
Heat stroke can affect different pets in different ways, but some of the most common symptoms of heat stroke include:
- Thick saliva
- Rapid breathing or panting
- Excessive drooling
- Reddened gums
- High temperature
- Rapid heart rate
What Causes Heat Stroke
Heat stroke is caused by intense heat and dehydration in the summer. Different circumstances can cause heat stroke in pets, including:
- Lack of shade for outdoor pets.
- Exercising during the hottest point of the day.
- Spending time in a parked car on a warm day.
- Spending time on hot pavement.
Some pets are more at risk for heat stroke than others. For example, older pets and very young pets may not handle heat as well as middle-aged pets. Pets that are ill, pets that have a chronic conditions and pets that are not used to spending time outdoors are all at higher risk for heat stroke. In addition, pets with flat faces and short noses are at higher risk for heat stroke.
Heat Stroke Prevention
There are many things you can do to prevent your pet from experiencing heat stroke. For example:
- Provide your pet with shelter from the sun. Outdoor pets--even pets that are used to the heat--need shelter throughout the day. Give your pet a permanent shelter that provides shade.
- Bring in outdoor pets on days that are excessively hot. Prepare a cool place in your garage or basement where your pet can spend time when it's dangerously hot outside.
- Exercise your pet at cool times of the day. Your pet should still get exercise even when it's very warm. Get up early to exercise your pet before it becomes hot outside, or exercise your pet after sunset.
- Get your pet's hair cut in the early summer. Thick, long coats can trap in heat. Get your pet's hair cut very short in summer to prevent your pet from overheating.