Heat Exhaustion: Know the Signs
Summer is in full swing and that means there are animals among us who are suffering the extreme temperatures outside. No matter how pampered your pet may be, every pet owner needs to know the signs of heat stroke! Summer temperatures are into triple digits across most of the country. It doesn’t take long for your pet to go into distress. Know the signs, as well as when to seek emergency help!
~ Excess Salivation – sometimes thickened: Get your pet to a cooler location and supply plenty of cool water for him to drink.
~ Vigorous Panting: If your pet is panting heavily, he is struggling to cool down. Get your pet to a cooler place immediately and be sure to supply cool water to drink.
~ Inside of Ears are Flushed and Red: Panting is not helping your pet cool down quickly enough and he is overheating – get him to a cooler place immediately and supply plenty of cool water.
~ Nausea, Vomiting & Diarrhea: If your pet is suffering from heat exhaustion, he may begin to feel very ill and may begin vomiting or have diarrhea. Loss of fluids can quickly lead to dehydration and escalate his condition to heat stroke, which is life threatening and can lead to death. If your pet is vomiting or has diarrhea, take him to a cooler place and apply cool (but do not use ice water!), wet towels or other cloth to help him cool down.
If your pet is experiencing any of the following symptoms, take your pet to the vet immediately!
Before you hurry off in the car, start trying to help your pet cool down by using cool water (again, not ice water!) from a hose, cool cloths, and the air conditioning in your car. Failure to address these symptoms can lead to Heat Stroke, which can cause blood clots, organ damage, and death.
~ Elevated Heart Rate
~ Brick red, purple or blue gums
~ Lying down and refusing to get up
Even if your pets stay inside most (or all) of the time, please consider providing a much-needed service for the other animals in the area who do not have that luxury. Keep at least one large bowl of water in a shady spot for them! Birds, homeless animals, squirrels, etc. Water is a precious commodity to which some may have very limited access during hot, dry weather. You could, quiet literally, save a life by making this small effort part of your summer routine!