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Unlike people, animals don’t sweat to relieve excess body heat. They only eliminate heat from their bodies through the pads of their feet and by panting. Because of this, up to half of all pets who develop heat stroke will die from it. By knowing how to prevent heat stroke and recognize it when it does occur, you could be saving your dog or cat’s life.
Heat Stroke Symptoms in Companion Animals
Please seek treatment at [Clinic Name] immediately if you notice any of these symptoms in your pet:
• 103 degrees or greater body temperature
• Excessive panting
• Sticky saliva
• Tongue is bright red
Keep in mind that some pets are at higher risk of heat stroke than others. Puppies, kittens, senior pets, obese pets, and those with respiratory disease or who have been conditioned for long periods of strenuous exercise are especially vulnerable.
Before you reach our clinic, get your dog or cat out of the heat and use a damp cloth to cool down her skin. If she’s responsive, offer her cold water to drink or allow her to lick ice cubes without eating them.
Heat Stroke Prevention Tips
Pets who are well hydrated are less prone to heat stroke than those who have limited access to water during the day. If your dog will be outside for more than a few minutes, make sure it’s in a shady area and that plenty of fresh water is available to him. During periods of intense heat, keep cats indoors entirely and only let dogs out to relieve themselves if possible.
Should your dog’s behavior become unmanageable because she’s kept indoors, let her out in the early morning or later evening hours when the sun’s rays are less intense. Also, please don’t leave your pet in a hot car for even one minute. The temperature in the interior of your vehicle can climb to 160 degrees in a short time, which can cause severe illness or instant death. It’s better to leave your pet at home when the temperature and humidity reach the high points of the summer.