Summer has officially begun and the heat is back!
As a veterinarian, I see a lot of heat-related signs in pets, especially dogs and cats. Not many new pet owners know that animals can experience a heat stroke, which can be life-threatening. I have noticed that short-nosed, long-haired, and young pets are at increased risk.
Pets with heat stroke present the following symptoms:
– increased heart rate
– increased body temperatures
– heavy breathing
– vomiting and diarrhea
I always advise keeping pets in a well-ventilated area, in the shade with cool drinking water, or in a place where it can cool down. Always remember that if the temperature is too hot for you, it’s too hot for your pet as well. Check your pet’s body temperature using a thermometer by taking it from the pet’s axilla and adding one degree for an accurate read. Temperatures should not reach 104 degrees for dogs and 103 degrees for cats.
The other dangerous component of heat is humidity. Animals use their pant mechanism to evaporate moisture from their lungs. This process helps them to take the heat away from their body. When humidity is too high, they have difficulties cooling themselves down, which is when a heat stroke might occur. When a pet’s body reaches high temperatures for more than 15 minutes, it can lead to collapse, seizures, coma, organ failure, and death.
Summer is a fantastic time, but we should remember that there are some precautions we should take to make sure our pets are safe.
Read more by Maria,
or learn more about heat stroke in pets.