download
Our
App
download
Our
App
Open 24/7
365 Days a Year

The Symptoms of Heat Illness and How to Prevent Them

Summer is synonymous with outdoor adventures, sun bathing, and long, sunny days. However, the unfortunate reality of this beautiful season is that it also poses dangerous health hazards to our pets. Fortunately, the risks that accompany the increased temperature and hot summer sun can be mitigated with a little preparation and education on the topic of heat illness.

Understanding Heat Illness

Heat illness is a result of your pet’s body temperature rising beyond the healthy range. Heat illness is a form of hyperthermia that comes as a result of your pet’s inability to regulate their body temperature, which can lead to heat illness that varies from mild symptoms to severe levels that are defined as heat stroke which can be fatal if not immediately addressed.

The Symptoms of Heat Illness

Due to the fact that pet’s cannot sweat to regulate their body temperature as humans do, they are very sensitive to excessive heat. Some symptoms of heat illness include the following:

·       Heavy panting or trouble breathing

·       Dehydration, including sunken eyes, dry nose, and lethargy

·       Thick, sticky drool

·       Body temperature of 105F

·       Discolored or dry gums

·       Increased heart rate

·       Muscle tremors, including shaking or shivering

·       Unstable mobility, collapse, or weakness

·       Vomiting or diarrhea

 How To Prevent Heat Illness

Preventing heat illness is a matter of limiting your pet’s exposure to severe heat and providing them with adequate air circulation and fresh, clean water. However, there are additional measures you may take to mitigate the risk of heat illness, including the following:

·       Do not leave your pet in a parked car:  Even if you are just running in for a minute, or if the windows are down, never leave your pet in a hot car–the temperature can quickly rise to fatal levels.

·       Monitor your pet’s outdoor time: If your pet is a nature-lover, be mindful of the time they spend outside and provide them with plenty of shade and water.

·       Do not let your pet outside during peak sun hours: Unless it’s absolutely necessary, try to keep your pet inside during the peak sun hours and ensure that when you do let your pet out during the hotter times that their outdoor time is kept to a minimum.

·       Ensure your home is kept at a cool temperature: Although you may be tempted to shut off your air conditioner when you leave to save on the utility costs, that could lead to a rapidly rising temperature that can lead to your pet falling victim to heat illness while you’re out.

For more guidance on how to keep your pet heat illness-free this summer, contact your local veterinarian today.

Open 24/7
365 Days a Year