Jul 14 2014

Heat Stroke in Dogs by Harbor Animal Hospital’s Dr. Fountain (Hot Dogs!)

During the summer months, not only do we feel the heat, our pets do as well.  We must remember that they cannot tell us when they are feeling warm, ask for an ice tea, or turn on a fan. It is important to provide an area where your pet can cool down in the summer. Without adequate cooling, our pets are susceptible to heat stroke.

What is heat stroke? Heat stroke is a high core body temperature, above 106 degrees F, which leads to multiple organ failure and even death. Heat stroke can be caused by intense physical exercise and/or a hot, humid environment without proper cooling opportunities. Ensure that your pet has water available at all times and a shaded, cool spot to rest in, if outside. Never leave your pet in the car for any amount of time, even with the windows open. Temperatures inside a vehicle can sky rocket in a very short amount of time, as shown in the following chart.

Hot Dog Chart

What types of pets are most susceptible to heat stroke? Dogs with flat faces like Bulldogs, Pugs, and Pekinese. Pets that are overweight and older pets also have trouble getting rid of excess body heat. What are the signs of a dog with heat stroke? Dogs with heat stress, a milder form of heat stroke, will show lethargy, excess panting, and sometimes loss of appetite. Dogs with heat stroke can show those same signs along with vomiting, diarrhea, pale or very red gums, wobbly walking or other neurologic signs, and abnormal bruising. If you believe your pet may have heat stroke,  please contact Harbor Animal Hospital right away, as this is a true emergency. If this occurs outside of our normal business hours contact the EmergencyPet Clinic of the South Bay. In addition, you may begin cooling your pet down by getting them wet, while seeking professional help. Heat stroke can be a deadly condition, so be sure to help your pets beat the heat!

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