As the sun shines and the temps climb, it’s important to remember the comfort and safety of our furry friends this summer. We all know we should offer opportunities for time in the shade, out of direct sunlight and that we should have lots of fresh, clean drinking water available and (of course!) we all know not to leave our pets in the car for any amount of time, especially during temperature extremes.
Heat exhaustion is very serious and potentially life threatening. If your pet is spending any amount of time outdoors this summer or in a warmer than usual situation, these are some of the signs and symptoms you should be aware of:
- Rapid panting
- Excessive thick, sticky drool
- Reddening of skin
- Bright red or pale gums
- Increased body temperature
- Rapid heart rate
- Wobbly or uncoordinated
- Diarrhea and/or vomiting
What should you do if you think your pet is in trouble?
If you suspect your pet is suffering from heat exhaustion, remove them from the hot area immediately and take them to your vet right away. While you are transporting your pet, slowly try to lower their temperature by placing cool, wet towels over their back, neck and under forelimbs and groin. DO NOT USE VERY COLD WATER TO COOL YOUR PET. Cooling should be done gradually – doing it too quickly can actually have negative effects. DO NOT FORCE YOUR PET TO DRINK WATER. Allow access to water but let him/her drink on their own. As soon as you arrive at your vet, the staff will continue to cool your pet gradually, frequently checking their temperature and administering any other treatments necessary to help your furry loved one recover.