Summer is Officially here!
We are all looking forward to everything summer will bring, Fun in the Sun, Family Picnics and BBQ’s. With that said, there is one part of the family that may not be able to enjoy all the festivities – your family pet!
Please take a moment to review these important summer safety tips for recognizing heat stroke. Our board-certified criticalist and Medical director, Dr. Louis DelGiudice wants to be sure that we are all well prepared in the event your pet has too much fun in the sun.
Summer Tips to Reduce Chance of Heat Stroke
- Recognize pets that are predisposed to developing heat stroke
- Brachycephalic breeds (ex: Bulldogs, Pugs, Boston Terriers).
- Overweight pets
- Pets with pre-existing kidney or heart disease
- Pets with endocrine diseases such as diabetes or hypothyroidism
- Geriatric pets
- Go for walks only during the cooler early morning or evening hours
- Avoid walks and exercising during the afternoon hours when the sun is at its highest
- When outside keep your dog in a well-shaded area
- Always have free access to drinking water available
- A pet who does not regularly exercise should not suddenly be taken out for exercise in the hot summer months
- A pet who has been swimming all day even though in water can suffer from heat stroke
- Do not leave your pet in a parked car
Signs of Heat Stroke:
- Excessive panting or breathing difficulty
- Acute lethargy/depression
- Redness of gums
- Acutely uncoordinated or appearing weak
- Heat stroke can result in acute neurologic signs even seizure activity
First Aid Tips if you think your pet may be having Heat Stroke:
- Using either the garden hose or pitchers of water dose with cool water
- Do not put into a cold bathtub or bathtub with ice
- When driving to the veterinary emergency hospital keep all the windows down and allow the air to blow over it increases the loss of heat from your pet’s body, not the air conditioning
- Do not force water! Your pet could vomit or if neurologically compromised even aspirate
As always if you are concerned, we are concerned. Please call RegionalVet at 856 728 1400 if you suspect your pet may be having a summer heat-related medical issue.