Heat stroke is a very serious emergency seen in South Louisiana in people as well as family pets. If this condition is not corrected in a timely manner, the result can be either permanent damage to internal organs such as the heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, brain, or even worse, death.
It is very important to take some precautionary steps to help avoid this terrible condition. Some of the things that we as pet owners can do to help reduce the risk of heat stroke are as follows:
- Plenty of shade
- Plenty of cold, fresh water that is also kept in the shade. Ice cubes are very helpful if added to the water if the pet is to be outside for a long period of time.
- Try to reduce the amount of exercise during the hotter time of day.
- Make sure the pet is fed properly to assure that the nutrition and energy level is adequate.
- Keep the period of time outside during the hotter times of the day to a minimum.
- Keep your pet up to date on its medication or preventatives to avoid complications due to illness which may make your pet more vulnerable to heat stroke.
These are just a few helpful ideas to keep your pet safe from heat stroke. As you can see, these ideas are very simple and basic and are also the same things we should try for ourselves especially our children.
If you do suspect that your pet cat or dog is suffering from heat stroke, it is imperative that you seek immediate attention from your veterinarian. Signs to look for are as follows:
- Trouble breathing
- Very high temperature
- Pet has collapsed
- Excessive salivation
- Vomiting and/or diarrhea
- Pet is down and non-responsive
- Breathing rapidly or hyperventilating
- Pet is walking very wobbly
Certain breeds of dogs are more prone to this condition than others. These breeds are classed as brachycephalic which are dogs which have a facial structure resembling that of a boxer, pekinese, boston terrier, pug, english bull dog etc. But it is very important to realize that any breed of cat or dog is vulnerable to this condition.
If you have any questions about heat stroke, please call de la Houssaye Animal Hospital and we would be happy to discuss this with you further.