The warmer weather is coming, so it’s a good idea to know how to prevent heatstroke and what signs to look for in your pet.

Heatstroke can cause multiple organ failure. If not treated, animals can quickly die.

How to prevent heatstroke

* Place your pet in a cool, shaded area with good ventilation

Exercise your pets only in cool, dry conditions.

* Never leave a pet in a vehicle or car

Water spills can be avoided by ensuring that you have plenty of water on hand and additional water in case of spills

Bring them in if it is cooler inside than outside.

Which animals are at the greatest risk?

Heatstroke can affect any animal. Some animals are more susceptible to heatstrokes, such as brachycephalic cats and dogs (such as squishy and flat-faced dogs, like pugs and Pekinese) and smaller pets.

Flat-faced Dogs can have difficulty breathing due to their short muzzles, which makes it difficult for them to cool down in hotter temperatures. Brachycephalic dogs are 146% more susceptible to heat stroke than any other breed.

Smaller mammals like mice, rats, and rabbits are usually confined in cages or hutches to prevent them from moving into cooler areas when the temperature increases. These animals should be placed in a cool, well-ventilated, shaded area with lots of clean, fresh drinking water.

Factors that may increase the risk of a heart attack:

  • Obesity
  • Long/thick hair coat
  • Extremes of age (young/old).
  • Excessive exercise
  • Respiratory diseases/breathing disorders (i.e. Laryngeal Paralysis, Collapsing Trachea
  • Heart problems/Cardiovascular disease
  • Neurological Disease
  • Dehydration

What are the symptoms of heatstroke?

Animals can display a variety of signs, including:

  • Heatstroke is accompanied by a relentless panting that increases as the heatstroke progresses.
  • Drooling is salivation
  • Restlessness and agitation
  • The gums are very pale or red.
  • Bright red tongue
  • Heart rate increases
  • Breathing distress
  • Vomiting and Diarrhoea with Blood (possible)
  • Signs of mental confusion and delirium
  • Dizziness, staggering
  • Lethargy and weakness
  • Muscle tremors
  • Seizures
  • Collapsing or lying down
  • There is little or no urine production
  • Coma

Contact your veterinarian immediately if you suspect that your pet is suffering from heatstroke.


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