Just like us, our pets can suffer from heatstroke. The difference? Our pets are not able to sweat, are covered in fur and rarely sit in an air conditioned office during the day. This means that our pets can’t cool themselves like we can and makes them very susceptible to heatstroke.
Heatstroke is extremely dangerous, causing irreversible damage to your pet’s internal organs including their liver, kidneys, brain and heart. Heatstroke can be fatal if not recognized and treated quickly.
Watch this video for the symptoms, prevention measures and treatment methods that we think all pet owners should know!
Heatstroke of pets can occur quite quickly and is a result of exposure to high environmental temperatures or strenuous exercise. It is an acute, progressive, life-threatening emergency. Immediate cooling action is required to lower the pet’s body temperature as failure to do so may result in thermal injury to the pet’s organs.
Dogs that are especially prone to heatstroke include: overweight /
obese dogs; short muzzled dogs like bulldogs and pugs; dogs with laryngeal paralysis or cardiovascular disease. Older dogs or those with a dark or dense hair coat are also prone to heatstroke.
SYMPTOMS OF HEATSTROKE
Dark or bright red tongue and gums
And in severe cases, coma and death.
PREVENTION OF HEATSTROKE
Pets should never be left in cars on hot days for any amount of time. For outdoor pets, access to clean water and shade at all times are essential.
Keep your pet’s coat short in Summer.
Exercise during the cooler parts of the day.
IDEAS TO KEEP YOUR PETS COOL Dogs: Spray bottles with cool water jetted on the pet’s underside, paddle pools, keeping indoors during hot times of the day, ice treats like frozen kongs. Birds: Frozen watermelon treats. Rabbits: Frozen peas for rabbits to lie next to and nibble on. Rats: Fill a small tub or container with water and then throw in some peas. They will get into the water and (depending on how deep it is) dive for the peas.
If signs of heatstroke are present, the pet should be immediately cooled and taken to a veterinarian for treatment.