Heat Stroke in Townsville

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 
  • Seizures

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.



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