Although it may occur at any time of the year, heatstroke is particularly prevalent as the weather turns warmer.
Heatstroke occurs when the environment becomes too hot and too humid for your pet’s natural temperature-control mechanisms to work. Our pets rely on panting and sweating to maintain their normal body temperatures. However, unlike people, dogs and cats only possess efficient sweat glands on the pads of their feet. That’s why although you may not feel over-heated; you must pay special attention to your pet. If you don’t, the result could be deadly.
The best treatment of heatstroke is its prevention in the first place. Never keep you pet unattended in a car. Even if the temperature is moderate outside and the windows are open, our cars can heat up like ovens. Never keep your pet closed-up in a pen or kennel without shade, adequate ventilation, or water. Remember, the sun moves as the day progresses, so an area that was shaded in the morning may be full sun later in the day. And use common sense when exercising your pet – exercise elevates your pet’s body temperature.
Just as with people, use special care with younger or older pets – they tend to be more sensitive. And pets with “pushed-in” noses, such as Persian cats, pugs and bull dogs, are particularly prone to heatstroke. The anatomical structure of their noses and throats decreases air flow – thereby inhibiting the natural cooling process.
Here are some symptoms of heatstroke:
- Excessive panting.
- Vomiting and diarrhea.
- Elevated body temperature.
- Hot, dry skin.
- Pale lips and gums.
- Collapse and coma.
If you suspect your pet is suffering from heatstroke, you must take immediate action by doing the following:
- Remove the stricken pet from the hot environment to a shady, cool place.
- Lower your pet’s body temperature with cold water.
- If at all possible, place him in front of a fan to speed-up the cooling process.
- Gently massage his legs and body.
- If your pet is conscious, let him drink small amounts of water and wash his mouth with cool water to help the cooling process.
- GET YOUR PET TO THE VET IMMIDEIATLEY.