Summer for us humans usually means going to the beach, eating ice cream, or turning on our air cons and relaxing at home. Summer for pets is a little different. While they may get to spend more time outdoors, they can’t decide to eat something cold or turn on a fan. This means that during summer, our pets are at risk of suffering from heatstroke – a potentially fatal condition that we have seen time and time again at our Cranbourne veterinary clinic. To help you recognise heatstroke in your pet, we have put together this quick guide of symptoms to look out for.
#1: Increased panting and salivation
Our bodies deal with heat very differently to the way our pets’ bodies do. While we have sweat glands all over our bodies to help cool us down, cats, dogs and pocket pets only have sweat glands in small, limited areas (such as around their feet and noses).
When they want to cool down, they will also try to pant, which of course only works to a certain extent. When your pet overheats, they might therefore try their best to keep panting to cool themselves down.
#2: Muscle tremors and seizures
After rapid panting fails to cool your pet down, often breathing will become slower. In some cases, breathing can even stop. This is when your pet may collapse and start to experience muscle tremors and seizures.
#3: Nosebleeds or blood in vomit and diarrhoea
Heatstroke can occur within minutes. Blood in your pet’s vomit or diarrhoea can indicate that small blood vessels have burst due to overheating. Nosebleeds can also be indicative of internal overheating.
Have you noticed any of these symptoms?
Heatstroke is an extremely serious veterinary emergency. If you notice any of these three key signs of heatstroke in your dog, cat or pocket pet, the first thing you must do is arrange to see a vet immediately.
In the meantime, you should also:
- Help to cool down your pet by removing them from the hot environment, spraying or applying cool (not cold) water, and then using a fan to speed up the cooling process
- Wetting the areas around your pet.
Vets in Cranbourne is a Cranbourne veterinary clinic that is dedicated to supporting the local community of pets and pet owners. If you have noticed any signs that your cat, dog or pocket pet is suffering from heatstroke, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our vets on (03) 5995 3444 immediately.