Recognizing the Signs of Heat Stroke in Pets

It’s that time of year again, when the thermometer is climbing as temperatures reach sweltering levels. Summer time doesn’t mean you have to keep your pets indoors constantly, but it does bring an added risk of heat stroke, a serious and sometimes fatal condition that will most certainly result in an emergency trip to your Tampa vet. To help ensure that your pet enjoys the warmer weather safely, here are some of the signs to watch for.

Signs and Symptoms

A pet suffering from heat stroke may exhibit one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Excessive panting
  • Tongue and gums dry, sticky and colored dark or bright red
  • Extremely high body temperature (104-110 degrees F)
  • Staggering, stupor (disorientation)
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Unconsciousness

If you notice any of these signs in your pet, bring them to your Tampa vet immediately – time is of the essence.

Preventing Heat Stroke

You can take some measures to help protect your pet from suffering heat stroke, such as:

  • Keep your pet out of direct sunlight as much as possible
  • Do not leave your pet outdoors for long periods of time
  • If indoors, supply air conditioning if possible or keep your pet in an area that is naturally more cool, such as the basement
  • Always provide an ample supply of cool (not ice cold), fresh water
  • Keep fur trimmed short
  • Limit strenuous activities
  • Cool your pet’s body frequently using wet cloths
  • Give your pet a cool bath
  • Never, ever leave your pet in a vehicle unattended

Again, if you suspect that your pet may be suffering from heat stroke, it is imperative that you seek treatment from your Tampa vet right away. It could mean the difference between life and death for your animal companion.

Heat stroke can kill a small animal in a matter of minutes, so it’s something that every pet owner should take seriously, especially on those really hot summer days. Our pets can’t protect themselves – it’s up to us. By taking the proper precautions, knowing what to look for and working closely with your Tampa vet, your pet will have a much better chance of staying cool and enjoying the warmer weather safely.

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