Heatstroke in Townsville

Heat Stroke Risk in Townsville.

With the weather we experience in Townsville, heat stroke in our pets can occcur at any time of the year but in the summer months it is more common.

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.

If you are concerned that your pet may have heat stroke please wet them down, place them under a fan and ring Bohle Veterinary Clinic in Townsville straight away on 4751 6677