Heat Stress In Pets…
Summer time in Bahrain is extremely hot with temperatures rising to over 45 ◦C (113 ◦F) in some days. As temperatures soar, a common issue that all caring pet owners should be aware of is heatstroke (also known as heat stress). With the heat of the summer months, the number of cats and dogs visiting the vet due to this condition rises. Unfortunately many pet owners do not even realise that their cats and dogs can overheat when the weather is hot, and may only seek treatment at the eleventh hour.
What to look out for…
Excessive panting or difficulty breathingExcessive droolingFeverBright red, gray, purple, or bluish gumsRapid pulse. Muscle tremors, shivering or convulsionsLethargy or weakness. Vomiting or diarrhea.
It is essential to remove the animal from the hot environment immediately. Do not give the pet aspirin to lower its temperature; this can lead to other problems. If the animal is unconscious, make sure no water enters the nose or mouth as you follow these steps.
Put your pet in the bathtub. Or, find a hose—and make sure to let any hot water out of the hose first before hosing your dog down. If you cannot submerge your dog in water, place a towel on his back and continue to soak the towel and your dog in cold water.Run a cool shower over your pet, covering the whole body—especially the back of the head and neck.Do not submerge your pet’s head in the water. Keep the head elevated to prevent aspiration pneumonia.Call your veterinarian or the nearest emergency animal clinic and tell them you are on your way! They will tell you what to do next based on your pet’s symptoms and how far away you are from the clinic.Let your pet drink as much cool water as he wants without forcing him to drink.
Avoiding Heat Stress in Dogs
Of course, the best cure is prevention. You can help keep your pet from overheating with some basic safety practices. These include
Limiting exercise or outdoor activity on excessively hot or humid days,Providing plenty of shade and water when your dog is outdoors, and never, under any circumstances, leaving your pet in a parked car—not even in the shade with the windows rolled down.
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Signed: Dr. Kevin – Your Preferred Veterinarian.