With temperatures setting records over the past week, we see an increased incidence of heat related injury.
One of the deadliest conditions a pet may encounter in this environment is heat stroke. The normal temperature for a dog is roughly 101.5 degrees (F), but this may vary about 1 degree in either direction. A dog suffering from heat stroke may have internal body temperatures up to 109 F, but any time the body temperature exceeds 105 F this constitutes a medical emergency!
The most common causes of heat stroke are pets being left in a hot vehicle, pets being left outside in excessive heat for extended periods of time and pets exercising in warm weather. (NEVER leave your pet in a hot vehicle.)
Also, keep in mind that some pets are not good at keeping cool. For example, breeds with a short muzzle and lots of skin – yes, the Pug is the poster child, and obese pets.
If you are concerned about the effect of heat on your pet please look for some of the signs
- Anxiety and restlessness (initially)
- Excessive panting and drooling
- Weakness and stumbling
- Grey/purple hue to normally pink gum color
- Glazed over look to eyes, lack of response to interaction
Steps to take if you are concerned
- Remove pet from hot environment, add a fan if possible
- Gently with lubricant, obtain rectal temperature if this is possible
- Slowly begin to cool – apply cool water to ear flaps and paws
- Transport to nearest veterinary hospital as soon as possible DO NOT cool your pet too quickly. NEVER place them in cold water or in pool. Rapid cooling will increase the risk of fatal complications.
Guest blog by the wonderful folks at Laveen Veterinary Center, 3536 W Baseline Rd #128 Laveen, AZ 8533. Contact them at (602)559-9600 or firstname.lastname@example.org