Heatstroke

cat28As the temperatures rise, animals, just like people, are more likely to suffer from heatstroke. Owners don’t always think. They may leave their pets outside in the sun without shade or a way to cool off. Some people even leave their pets in the hot car! Pets can easily be overheated if they don’t have a way to cool off. Heatstroke, though common, can be deadly so it is important to know the signs.

Common signs of heatstroke are:

  • Heavy panting
  • Trouble breathing
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Increased thirst, even more than normal on a hot day
  • Glazed over eyes
  • Lethargy
  • Bad coordination
  • Increased salivation
  • Vomiting
  • Deep red or purple tongue

Unconsciousness If pets are showing any of these symptoms, it is important to cool them off as quickly as possible. Get them in the air conditioning or a shaded area at least. Use ice packs or cool water to help get their body temperature down. They need water, but if you give them too much too quickly, they will just throw it up.

Heatstroke can be an emergency, so be sure to contact your veterinarian right away and get your pet seen as soon as possible. Once you are at the veterinarian’s office, they will continue to work to decrease your pet’s temperature. Often, they place an intravenous catheter to try to rehydrate your pet.

They may recommend blood work to ensure that your pet’s kidneys are working properly. Prolonged heatstroke can cause kidney failure and a host of other problems, so if you can afford to run blood work, you should. You need to know what you will be facing once your pet recovers from heat stroke.

Heat stroke can be deadly, and owners need to know what the risks are. They also need to know what signs to look for and what to do in an emergency. Above all, if you think your pet is suffering from heatstroke, get him or her to the veterinarian as soon as you can.

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