During the summer months, we often think of beaches, bikinis, tanlines, etc.
Less often though, do we think about the impact of heat and sun on our pets. Do you know the signs of heatstroke and how to treat it? Well, here at Pawsitive Hearts we always have the best interest of all fur babies in mind, and we want to make sure that you are fully informed on how to identify and treat heat stroke. The first step is to KNOW THE SIGNS: Overheating in pets looks like excessive panting, difficulty breathing, increased heart rate, drooling, weakness, acting lethargic and collapsing. More serious symptoms may also include seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomit along with an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees (ASPCA, 2021).
Please note! Some animals are at an increased risk for overheating and heat stroke because they cannot pant as well as other breeds. Some examples are pugs with their little flat faces, older and/or overweight pets, and ones with certain health conditions like lung disease. Step Two: If you suspect pet heat stroke, here's what to do:
As quick as you can, get your pet out of direct heat. Next, take your pet’s temperature. Grab a pen/paper or the notes on your phone and make note of all symptoms observed and the time if you can. Then, to help them cool down, you can spray your pet with cool water Retake temperature. *For further cooling, you can place water-soaked towels on your pet’s head, neck, feet, chest and abdomen, turn on a fan and point it at them!
If the above steps didn't give immediate relief, please take your pet to the nearest veterinary hospital. (and bring those notes!)
The American Red Cross recommends decreasing a dog’s body temperature to 103° F in the first 10-15 minutes of a heat crisis and then stopping. After 103 is reached their body's natural cooling process should kick in and you don't want their temperature to drop too low.
It is important to say that even if you successfully cool your pet down, you should still visit a vet as soon as possible. Some consequences of heat stroke will not be noticeable or show symptoms for hours or a few days.... the signs include abnormal heart rhythms, kidney failure, neurological problems and respiratory arrest. 🐾 🐾 🐾 🐾 🐾 Lastly, as an added precaution, since we are talking about summertime and heat... We feel it is incredibly important to mention things like hot pavement and hot cars. When temps are up, it just isn't safe to hang around on pavement. Pets bodies are low to the ground and heat up quickly. Plus! Their precious little toe beans (paw pads) can burn. The general rule is that if you cannot comfortably hold the back of your hand to pavement for 5 seconds, your pets should not be walking on it. Walks in general during summer should be kept short regardless to reduce risk of overheating. And we're pretty sure you already know this, but just in case... PLEASE NEVER LEAVE YOUR PET IN A HOT CAR. Temperatures inside of cars can easily be 20 degrees hotter than it is outside. That means a nice 80 degree day for you, could feel like 100 for your pet. And it only takes 20+ minutes for that temperature to get even higher inside the car. So a "quick trip" to the grocery for you could turn into Hades for them. Please just don't do it. Have someone stay with them, keep the a/c on... or let them stay at home! They'll safely see you when you get back. 🥰🥰 Now, if you see a pet in a car during hot weather, and the car is unattended, please contact the store management to call over the loud speaker for the car's owner. After that, if the owner doesn't come back asap, call local animal control or the police department immediately. THANKS FOR YOUR TIME AND ATTENTION, we know it isn't fun to talk about, but arming you with this knowledge, enables you to SAVE A LIFE if you need to. 💜💜