Summer is on its way and with it comes hot, sunny and humid weather. While we all look forward to enjoying this time with our pets some precautions need to be taken. Heat stroke, resulting from an excessive increase in core body temperature, is a common life threatening condition seen during the summer months. Signs of heatstroke include an elevation in body temperature >104 degrees; vigorous panting; muscle cramps; spasms or tremors; fatigue and/or weakness; vomiting and diarrhea; red gums, ears and paw pads; and central nervous system signs including non-responsiveness, stumbling, and disorientation with seizures and coma in severe cases.
Prevention of heat stroke is essential and can be accomplished through some modifications to your pet’s routine. NEVER leave your pet alone in the car, even with the windows open. The temperature inside a car rapidly reaches dangerous levels with limited to no air flow, even when ambient temperatures are not extremely high. Dangerously high temperature can occur within minutes. Avoid vigorous activity/exercise outdoors on warmer days, especially within the first couple of weeks of the temperature rising. Leisurely walks out of the direct sunlight during the cooler portions of the day, morning and evening, are the safest. When outside opt for shady areas out of the direct sunlight. Unlimited access to fresh cool water should be available at all times. On extremely hot or humid days your pet should remain mainly indoors in a well-ventilated air conditioned environment.
Heat stroke requires immediate veterinary attention. Once the signs of heat stroke are recognized the condition can advance rapidly, with delays in veterinary care resulting in more damage to the body systems. If you suspect your pet of having heatstroke do not delay…Rush your pet to the nearest emergency vet for immediate attention.
The best course of action to keep your pet safe this summer is to be pro-active and help them manage the heat by wearing a canine Cool Coat which lowers their core body temperature.