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Pet’s Heat Stroke 

February 11, 2019 February 2019 No Comments

It’s the time of year we all enjoy, having fun in the sun! Good to get outside and get that nice summer glow. But what about our four legged friends?

We have lots of ways to protect ourselves from the sun such as sunscreen, hats, the shade of our homes and air conditioning if it gets too much. Instead of sweating, dogs eliminate heat by panting and seeking shade. When panting isn’t enough, a dog’s body temperature rises. This can be fatal if not corrected quickly. 

Excessive panting and signs of discomfort indicate overheating in dogs. Other signs of a dog suffering from heatstroke include drooling, reddened gums, vomiting, diarrhoea, mental dullness or loss of consciousness, uncoordinated movement, and collapse. If you see these symptoms in your dog, you should take them to your vet immediately for medical care. 

Owners can start the cooling process on the way to the vet by wetting the dog and running the car air conditioner. For farm dogs this may mean a dip in a trough and a trip into town on the back of the truck.

Any hot environments can cause heat stroke in dogs but the most common are leaving a dog in a car, forgetting to provide water and shade to pets that are outdoors or having them out exercising in the heat of the day. Some dogs can be more prone to heat stroke if they are overweight, older, have respiratory disease or are a breed that have a shortened face e.g. bulldogs. 

If your pooch has energy to burn and needs some form of exercise, take them swimming or exercise in the early morning or late evening when it is cooler. This goes for working dogs too, when mustering is best done in the cooler times of day. If your dog has long hair, consider getting them a short haircut to get through the hot summer months

Heatstroke in dogs can be prevented by making sure your dog has access to plenty of water and shade and using common sense around exercising in the heat of the day.

Now that your pet is chilling in the cool, time for you to put on your shades, sit back and relax!

Happy New Year to you all from the team at South Wairarapa Vets Martinborough

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