Summer Heat brings with it an increased risk of heatstroke (hyperthermia) for our pets in the Clarence Valley. Heatstroke is an elevation in the body temperature, it is a life threatening condition requiring immediate treatment.
Common signs of heatstroke are a distressed pet, that is panting excessively,they may become restless, their body temperature will rise and they may also be drooling excessively and be unsteady on their feet, the colour of their gums may be either bluish purple or bright red.
What should you do if you suspect heat stroke?
Seek veterinary attention immediately at Riverbank Animal Hospital as this condition often requires intensive care to save your pets life. Cooling your pet quickly can help to save their life also as a first aid measure, this can be done using the garden hose to wet your pet and then keeping a fan or air conditioning on in the car on route to the vet.
On arrival at the veterinary clinic in South Grafton the vet will assess their condition and determine what treatment is required. Often intravenous fluids are required these help to cool the body, maintain blood pressure and support the kidneys, your pets airway will need to be maintained and excessive saliva kept away from the mouth at all times, oxygen therapy may be required and cooling of the pet using cold water and fans with constant monitoring of the pets core body temperature and condition.
What you can do to prevent heat stroke:
- Never ever leave your dog unattended in a car, even with the windows wound down the cars temperature can rise quickly, dogs do not sweat to cool themselves as we do, but instead remove heat by evaporation through panting, this requires large amounts of air to move the heat away from your pet, but when the heat is trapped in a car they can literally overheat and die within minutes.
- Always ensure your pet has an adequate supply of clean drinking water.
- Remember that some pets like to overturn their water bowls so ensure they are made of heavy enough material to help prevent this.
- Avoid exercising your pet during the hottest parts of the day, instead enjoy walking them during the cooler mornings or evenings.
- If your pet is left outside ensure they have adequate shade and water.
- If walking your dog for a long period of time ensure you have regular rest and drink stops.
If you have any queries regarding heat stroke and its prevention please feel free to contact the friendly healthcare team at your local vet practice Riverbank Animal Hospital South Grafton who are always happy to offer help and advice.