Warm Weather Tips
Itís time for fun in the sun, and
with some careful planning your pet can enjoy the summer as much
as you do.
In this pet care tip, I want to
which by definition means an elevated body temperature.
This is more commonly referred to as Heat
Dogs and cats have a higher normal
body temperature than we do, typically between 101įF and
102.5įF. If their temperature gets above 105įF
degrees, you have a true emergency.
The most common cause of heat
stroke is being left in a parked car. Even in the shade,
with the windows cracked, the temperature inside a car can reach
up to 160įF in a very short time.
Another common cause is being
left outside with inadequate shade and water. Dogs and cats
do not have the ability to sweat to help them cool off; they can
only pant, and if the temperature is too high, panting alone canít
cool them off fast enough.
Elderly pets, those with heart or
respiratory problems, or brachycephalic
(short-nosed dogs such as Bulldogs, Pugs, Boston Terriers,
Pekingeses, or Persian-type cats) are the most susceptible.
Also, overweight pets that are not
used to a lot of exercise, and have been active in high heat
and/or humidity are more prone to heat stroke.
Signs of heat stroke include:
- extreme panting
- excessive salivation
(rapid heart rate)
- bloody vomiting
Eventually, internal organs may be
damaged, and death may occur.
If you suspect heat
stroke, get the pet to a cooler place immediately.
You can always check their temperature with any human
thermometer designed for rectal use, lubricated with a little
Vaseline or KY Jelly.
the pet with cool (not cold) water. Rubbing alcohol on the
feet, stomach and ears will help, as will a fan.
Do not use cold or ice water,
as this actually shuts down the blood vessels in the skin, so
the cooler blood canít circulate to the vital organs inside.
Get the pet to a veterinarian as
soon as possible Ė this is a true emergency.
Avoiding heat stroke involves some
common sense moves.
- Donít leave your pet in a parked car.
- Be sure she has access to shade and
water at all times in warm weather.
- Donít go on long runs or walks in
- Plan ahead for warm weather.
Adapted by Dr. Kathy Kallay
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