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Protecting Your Pet from Heatstroke

It’s that time of year again, when the thermometer will begin to rise and we’ll all be able to get out and enjoy some fun in the sun. If you’re planning to include your pet in any outdoor activities this summer, it’s important to remember that they can be extremely susceptible to heatstroke (especially with that fur coat they’re wearing). Below is some advice from a Fort Bend veterinarian on keeping your pet cool, safe and happy in warmer weather.

Provide Shade – Spending too much time in direct sunlight can cause your pet to overheat quickly, so make sure there are places to retreat to when the sun becomes too much

Lots of Cool Water – Animals cool their bodies down and prevent dehydration by drinking lots of cool (not ice cold), fresh water. Keep plenty on hand to keep your pet’s temperature down and hydration levels up.

Groom – If possible, bring your pet in to the groomer to have some of that excess fur shaved off. Plenty of nice, cool baths can also help keep your pet from overheating.

Keep Exercise to a Minimum – Exercise is important, but as an experienced Southwest Houston veterinarian, we see countless cases where it backfires in the summer. When it’s really hot out, avoid overdoing it with long walks or too many strenuous outdoor activities. Try moving some of your pet’s play indoors where it’s cooler.

Never, Ever Leave Your Pet in a Car – The temperatures within a vehicle can reach sweltering numbers – numbers that can kill a pet if left there with no escape. Never, ever leave your pet in a hot car, even if the windows are rolled down a little.

Signs of Heat Stroke

Some of the signs that an animal may be suffering from heat stroke include:

  • High body temperature (104 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Excessive panting
  • Dry tongue
  • Tongue or gums that are dark or bright red in color
  • Disorientation (staggering, stupor)
  • Seizures
  • Vomiting or bloody diarrhea

If not treated promptly, heat stroke can quickly lead to coma and even death so it’s imperative that if you notice your pet exhibiting any of these symptoms you contact your Southwest Houston veterinarian immediately.

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