Hope Island Veterinary Surgery

67 Crescent Ave
Hope Island, Q 4212

(075)530-1105

hopeislandvet.com

With spring already here and summer fast approaching, it is essential that you provide extra cooling for your pets.

 

Hyperthermia or heatstroke can be a life-threatening condition that requires immediate treatment.

 

Heatstroke generally occurs in the summer and may be caused by many different factors.

 

Some of these factors are:-

  • Being left in an area with inadequate ventilation, such as hot vehicles;
  • Being left outdoors in hot/humid weather without suitable shade
  • Exercising in hot/humid weather

 

Hyperthermia occurs most commonly in dogs.  It can affect any breed, but some breeds are more susceptible.  Long-haired dogs and bracycephalic breeds (short-nosed, flat-faced breed such as bulldogs and pugs) are also more susceptible.  Heatstroke can occur at any age but tends to affect the very young and very old dogs.

 

Some of the signs of Heatstroke include but are not limited to:-

  • Panting
  • Dehydration
  • Excessive drooling
  • Increased body temperature
  • Red gums
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Shock
  • Vomiting blood
  • Changes in mental status
  • Siezures
  • Muscle tremors
  • Wobbly, incoordinated, drunken gait or movement (ataxia)
  • Unconsciousness in which the dog cannot be awakened.

 

How to prevent heatstroke in your pet.

  • Ensure that any dog kept outdoors has plenty of water and shade. If the weather is unusually hot, take time to check the outdoor temperature in your pet's area. It may be too hot in some locations to leave your pet outdoors regardless of how much water and shade your pet has.
  • Place pools of water in the shade for your pet to swim in and cool down.
  • Give your pet frozen iceblocks as treats to help keep them cool.
  • Restrict outdoor exercise to the early morning and late evening when temperatures are cooler.
  • Carry water with you when walking your dog. Watch your pet carefully for indications that he is over-heating, such as heavy panting, loss of energy, and any obvious weakness or stumbling. If your pet begins to show signs of heat suffering, stop in a shady spot and give him some water. If symptoms don't subside, take him directly to seek veterinary care.
  • Never leave your pet unattended in a parked car. Even if you park in the shade and leave the windows open slightly, the internal temperature of your car can heat up and put your dog in fatal danger within just a few minutes.
  • Equip your car with window shades if you are planning a long car trip with your dog. Bring cold water along to help keep your dog hydrated and cool.

 

What should you do if you think your pet has heatstroke?

  • Transport your pet to the closest veterinary facility immediately
  • Begin cooling your pet with tap water and wet towels.  Place wet towels over the back of the neck, in the armpits and in the groin region. Wet the ear flaps and paws with tap water and if possible direct a fan onto your pet.

 

What NOT to do

  • Do not use cold water or ice, as this can cause the blood vessels near the skin to shrink and form an insulation layer, trapping the heat inside
  • Do not attempt to force water into your pet's mouth but have a bowl of fresh cool water standing by should your pet wish to drink