Pet Heat Stroke Awareness

Pet Heat Stroke Awareness

90-degree days are common during the summer in Oklahoma, and such high temperatures pose a threat not just to humans but to their beloved pets as well. Dogs and cats simply do not have the ability to cool down effectively in excessively hot weather. They can sweat minimally from their paw pads, but panting is their primary self-cooling mechanism.

Since our furry family members are at a disadvantage during hot weather, they are more prone to heat stroke.

How to Tell If Your Pet is Suffering from Heat Stroke

Heat stroke can be fatal for pets that do not receive treatment, so early detection is key. Common signs include:

  • Heavy panting and difficulty breathing
  • Weakness, staggering, collapse
  • Excessive salivating
  • Dry, warm nose
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • Struggling to urinate
  • Lack of appetite
  • Bright red gums

Any abnormal behaviors could be a sign that your pet is in distress. Don’t wait to see if the symptoms persist; contact us at (918) 665-0508 or bring your pet in to see us for treatment right away.

Tips for Prevention

Heat stroke is easily preventable with careful planning and caution. If your pet has a “smooshed-in” face (this includes Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, Pugs and Persian cats), they are at a greater risk because they can’t breathe (and pant) normally. If you have any of these breeds, keep them indoors with the air conditioning turned up as much as possible. Generally, any day that comes with a heat advisory should be a reminder that your pet needs to lay low and stay cool.

Additionally, your pet should always have water to drink. Moreover, if your pet seems to be very hot, give them water that’s room temperature or lukewarm to avoid shocking their system.

Other tips include:

  • Cutting your pet’s walks short and minimizing their activity outdoors
  • Taking your dog for a walk first thing in the morning or at dusk when the sun is down and the pavement is cooler
  • Keeping your pet safe at home instead of bringing them along on store errands. The inside of a car can go from 75 degrees to 90 degrees in about 10 minutes, so don’t needlessly put your dog at risk
  • Ensuring that your pet has a shaded area to shelter in when they do go out into the yard
  • Filling a small kiddie pool to ankle height so your pet can wade around and cool off whenever they want

For more tips and recommendations, call your primary care veterinarian or get in touch with us at any time! Heat safety absolutely essential to your pet’s wellbeing and will spare them from stressful or even traumatic illness.