Heatstroke in Pets

As we head into summer it is important to keep our pets cool and avoid the dangers of heatstroke.

Heatstroke is defined as “a condition marked by fever and often by unconsciousness, caused by failure of the body's temperature-regulating mechanism when exposed to excessively high temperatures.”

Although heatstroke can occur at any time of the year, in the warmer months of summer it can be harder for our furry friends to keep cool. Therefore, it is important to watch for the signs and symptoms and take measures to prevent heat stroke in the summer months. Heatstroke is often caused by our pets being in environments that are hot and humid, have a lack of ventilation/air flow. Having access to little or no drinking water or excessive exercise may also cause heatstroke. Health conditions such as respiratory illness, heart disease, obesity and dehydration often make pets more susceptible. Certain breeds may also be more susceptible, such as brachycephalic (short nosed/flat faced breeds) or breeds with thick or long coats.
You may see all or some of the following symptoms of heatstroke:

  • Respiratory distress
  • Drooling
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy and weakness
  • Collapse
  • Seizures

To keep your pet safe from the dangers of heatstroke, a few simple measures can be taken. These measures include:

  • Provide a cool, ventilated area during warm weather
  • Ensure they always have access to plenty of fresh water
  • Never leave your dog in your car in warm weather – even with the windows left down heatstroke can occur in just a few minutes
  • Exotic pets such as rabbits, guinea pigs, birds, rats, and mice are more at risk of heatstroke – ensure their cages are moved to a cool, shaded and well-ventilated area in warm weather.

If you suspect your pet may be developing symptoms of heatstroke – please contact us on 03 322 8331.

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