Heat Stroke in Animals

posted: by: Dr. Bill's Pet Infirmary Tags: "Clinic Specials" "News" 

Dogs and cats dispel heat through their pads of their feet, however they do not perspire like we do. Dogs will also pant to dispel heat. Excessive panting, bright to dark red tongue and gums, rapid heat rate, staggering, excessive drooling, collapse, and seizures are some indications of heat stroke. If you suspect heat stroke, find shade or air condition for your pet and call your veterinary office immediately. A cool wet rag to the head and paws can be applied until you contact your veterinarian for further instruction, however, do not used cold water! Do not aid body cooling in temperatures that are below 103 degrees. A normal dog and cat temperature is 100.5-102.5, in normal conditions. Trying to cool an animal when it's temperature is below 103 may result in hypothermia or below average temperature.

Remember during the summer months to provide shade and plenty of water, as well as time indoors on warms days to prevent heat stroke. Caution should be used in brachycephalic or flat faced breeds in any type of heat due to their structure and difficulty with being able to pass air like average canines. In their cases, short exposure to outdoor activities is advised. Again, if heat stroke is suspected, call your veterinary hospital immediately or locate an emergency hospital.