Posts Tagged ‘weather warning’

Pool time by Leif Skoogfors

Keep your pet cool this summer!

Heat Stroke in Pets

Do you know how to protect your pets from heat stroke during the muggy days of summer?  This goes beyond the usual caveat of “never leave your pet in a car while you go shopping, babysit, attend a sporting event, spy on your girlfriend, etc.  Here are some tips to keep your pet safe in the yard or out and about:

  • Keep pets indoors as much as possible, especially if they are sluggish or panting soon after going outdoors.
  • Limit exercise to brief walks in the coolest parts of the day.  Keep in mind that hot pavement and sand can burn pets’ paws.
  • Provide plenty of cool water.  Check water throughout the day, as it can become hot if left outdoors. 
  • Kennels and pens should have good ventilation and air circulation and should be kept in shaded areas.

Warning Signs of Heat Stroke or Heat Stress

Your pet may need emergency assistance if it exhibits any of the following signs:

  • Excessive panting and drooling
  • Bright red gums
  • Balance problems
  • Lethargy
  • Staring or anxious expression
  • Labored breathing
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Failure to respond to commands
  • High fever
  • Collapse

What To Do

Lower your pet’s body temperature by easing him into a cool (not freezing) bath.  Water from the outdoor hose may be hot, so that may not be your best option.  

Bring your pet indoors and place him in a tub, taking care to keep his mouth and nose above water [we use stacks of towels to accomplish this.] 

Apply ice packs to his head and neck

Call your veterinarian for further instructions.  In most cases, your pet will be hospitalized for treatment and observation.  By necessity, this sort of care may take place at the 24-hour emergency hospital.

Who Is At Risk of Heat Stroke?

Any pet can have heat stroke, but some are more susceptible than others. All pets need to be protected on hot days.  However, these pets are more likely than others to have a problem:

  • Very young and older pets
  • Short-nosed/pug-nosed breeds
  • Overweight pets
  • Pets with cardiovascular or respiratory disorders
  • Pets with a previous history of heat stress

Heat stroke is a life-threatening emergency.  If you suspect your pet has heat stroke, we recommend taking him to the nearest emergency hospital for comprehensive care.

[Information borrowed from “Summer Pet Tips” by Ralston Purina Company and “Summer Safety Tips” by Firstline magazine.]

****************************************************************************************
This article was originally published on July 28, 2010.

Photo credit: By Leif Skoogfors (This image is from the FEMA Photo Library.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Read Full Post »

     Weather experts warn that the extreme high temperatures and humidity we’ve been experiencing will continue over the weekend.

     You may have noticed that stepping outside is like opening the door to a blast furnace.  And according to the weather report at WVEC Channel 13, Friday’s temperature will feel like 110° Fahrenheit.  Now imagine living outdoors wearing a fur coat all day – that’s what it’s like for our pets.

     Please keep pets indoors and provide fans or air conditioning during these days of extreme heat and humidity.  Provide cool water, as well.  Pets should not be exercised outdoors and bathroom break time should be limited, if possible. 

     Remember, pug-nosed dogs such as Pekingese, Lhasa Apsos, Chinese Pugs, and Boston Terriers (to name a few) have greater difficulty cooling the air they breathe in, due to a shortened snout.  For this reason, they are very susceptible to heat stroke.

     To learn more about the signs of heat stroke or heat stress in pets, see our blog post here.

Read Full Post »