Heat Exhaustion in Animals - Advice to Save Lives
As summer kicks in, you and your pet can finally stay outdoors for longer hours. But with the brighter days and warm weather also comes the risk of heat exhaustion. So, at least one of you should know when to head back home. And since it has to be you, read on!
The Risk is Real
While we humans can suffer from heat exhaustion too, the risk is far greater among animals. When their body temperatures elevate to high levels, they can suffer from heatstroke and in animals, this can be a life-threatening condition.
For dogs, the risk is even higher as they only perspire around their nose and paws. The most effective way for a dog to expel heat from its system is through panting, but if the weather outside is extremely hot or the dog doesn’t have access to cool air, they can get overheated.
There are things you can do to ensure that your furry friend is just fine during the summer months, such as avoiding walks at certain times and keeping them well groomed by purchasing a pair of dog clippers to use regularly whilst its hot. We have discussed the precautions you can take throughout, so soak up all of this information, as well as sun rays, to keep your dog safe each and every summer.
More than the sun in the sky, it is the immediate environment that decides how much risk your pet stands at to get exhausted due to heat. Confined spaces or extremely humid conditions are ones that you and your pet should surely avoid if you wish to keep heatstroke at bay. The quickest way your pet can get overheated is if they remain in a stationary car for a long time.
More precautions need to be taken in case of Brachycephalic animals which have shorter muzzles, such as certain species of cats (Persian and Himalayan cats) and dogs (French bulldogs, British Bulldogs and Pugs). With nasal passages that are smaller than usual, it becomes difficult for these animals to circulate sufficient air through their system for cooling.
- Body temperature rises above 40 degrees
- Panting more than usual
- Excess secretion of saliva
- Gums become bright red or a bluish Purple due to lack of oxygen supply
- Your pet seems agitated or restless
- Vomiting and diarrhoea (possibly with blood)
- Delirium or signs of mental confusion
- Staggering, dizziness
- Weakness, lethargy
- Muscle tremors
- Lying down or collapsing
- Production of little to no urine
If you find that your furry best pal is exhibiting any of the above symptoms, it is advised that you should immediately administer first aid to them in order to prevent the condition from getting worse. All your efforts should be directed towards just one purpose and that it is to cool your pet down and bring down their elevated body temperature.
Take them to a Vet
Even if you find your pet recuperating fast from heatstroke, it is still advisable to seek veterinary attention to be completely certain that the pet has recovered.
Lower their temperature
Your first step should be to take your pet to an air conditioned environment. You can also lower their body temperature by spraying water on them using spray bottles. Using ice water is not recommended as it can be even more dangerous for their condition. You need to gradually bring down their temperature so that their body does not go into a state of shock.
Give them Water if possible
If you find that your pet is able to consume water, you can give him or her a bowl of water to drink.
If the condition has worsened, you can place them in intensive care. Intravenous fluids can cool down their body, support the kidney system, maintain blood pressure and make them recover faster. While home treatments certainly help, they may not be sufficient if the situation has worsened and you will need to find a vet immediately to ensure that your beloved pet survives.
Prevention Is Always Better Than Cure
Heatstroke is not an illness, but a condition that can be easily prevented if the right steps are taken before. Following are certain tips that you can follow to keep your beloved pet safe this summer.
Never leave them in a car alone
When we humans with a much greater tolerance for heat can feel suffocated in a closed car, one can only imagine the condition of dogs who are kept locked in hot cars. Within a span of just ten minutes, the temperatures in a closed car can quickly elevate to 45 degrees. In such an environment that lacks fresh air, it may become difficult for the pet to shed the extra heat and therefore it puts them at a higher risk of dehydration and heatstroke. We know you love them too much to leave them alone in a car, but it is nevertheless an important precaution to be aware of.
Give them lots to drink
When you take your pet outside the house it is always a good idea to carry lots of water. Place the bowl or dish in a cool place which is preferably away from the sun and ensure that they are drinking regularly.
Stay indoors when it gets too Hot
If the weather forecast says that it can get extremely hot during daytime, you can take your precious pet out for a walk before the sun rises or after it has set. Temperatures above 25 degrees are not suitable for a walk with your dog. Just because the sun is shining and you want to get out for a few hours, your dog should be spared the discomfort and pain.
If your pet’s body has a thick coat of fur on it, the chances of them developing hyperthermia increase greatly.
Masterclip provides dog clippers of an excellent quality and standard. So, make use of them and keep your pet cool when the temperatures start to soar.