Archive for Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Heat and your pet

July 21, 2010

Q: What should I do if I suspect my pet is suffering from a heat-related malady?

A: Even the healthiest pets can suffer from dehydration, heat stroke and sunburn if overexposed to the heat, says Dr. Lila Miller, ASPCA vice president of veterinary outreach, and heat stroke can be fatal if not treated promptly.
If you suspect your pet is suffering from heat stroke, get help from your veterinarian immediately.

Q: What are the symptoms of overheating in pets?

A: According to Miller, symptoms of  overheating in pets include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse. They can also include seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomit along with an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees.

Q: Are any pets more prone to difficulty in the heat than others?

A: Animals with flat faces, like Pugs and Persian cats, are more susceptible to heat stroke since they cannot pant as effectively. These pets, along with the elderly, the overweight, and those with heart or lung diseases, should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.

Q: What’s the best course of action if your pets have to be outside.

A: Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so give them plenty of fresh, clean water when it’s hot outdoors. Make sure your pets have a shady place to get out of the sun, be careful to not over-exercise them, and keep them indoors when it’s extremely hot.

Q: Can I still walk my dog when it’s hot outside?

A: When the temperature is very high, don’t let your dog linger on hot asphalt. Being so close the ground, your pooch’s body can heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn. Keep walks during these times to a minimum.

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