Heat Stroke Risk in Townsville.
With the weather we are experiencing currently heat stroke in our pets may be a concern.
Heat Stroke (also known as hyperthermia) is a condition when the core body temperature exceeds the normal range. Heat stroke can affect both dogs and cats, and is a serious condition. In some cases heat stroke can even be fatal.
Risk factors for heat stroke can include:
- High humidity and high temperatures. Which we experience in Townsvillle regularly.
- Lack of shade
- Lack of drinking water
- Excessive activity or exercise
- Some breeds of dogs and cats (Dogs/Cats with squished up faces tend to have more problems cooling down)
If your animal has been affected by heatstroke you may notice some of the following signs:
- Constant panting or difficulty breathing.
- Excess salivation
- Vomiting and diarrhoea
- Weakness followed by collapse
If you suspect your animal has suffered from heatstroke, it is important to seek veterinary advice straight away. Wet your pet down and place under a fan before doing anything.
On arriving at the Vet clinic a number of things may be done depending on the severity of the condition
- Cooling patient down with cold water and fans.
- Placing the animal on intravenous fluids to treat shock, correct dehydration and help the kidneys
- Placing the animal on oxygen to help their breathing.
- Performing blood and urine tests to determine extent of organ damage.
- Medication and close monitoring.
Prevention of heat stroke is much easier than treatment. To avoid heatstroke the following precautions can be undertaken:
- Provide access to plenty of water. Remember that some pets may accidentally spill their water, so it’s important to provide more than one water bowl.
- Ensure there is plenty of shade available for your pet to seek out during the hottest parts of the day.
- Avoid exercising your pet during the hottest times of the day. Try to walk your pet in the evening. It is a good idea to take a water bottle and a collapsible water bowl for your pet.
- Provide a water source for the dog to lie in. Plastic clamshell sandpits are ideal.
- Do not leave your pet in a vehicle. Cars will heat up extremely quickly and pets can overheat in minutes.
- Avoid hot sand and cement. Dogs and cats can suffer severe burn injuries to their foot-pads. Even dogs in the back of utes can suffer burn injuries to their pads during hot days.