Pet Heatstroke Symptoms and First Aid Measures

As the hot summer arrives, long-term high-temperature “roasting” tests are not only unbearable for humans, but even pets can suffer heatstroke. What are the symptoms and signs of heatstroke in cats and dogs? What should I do if my pet has heatstroke? How to first aid? When should I go to the vet? How can I prevent pet heatstroke? You will know after reading this article.

What’s the matter with pet heatstroke?

Heatstroke in pets is called Heat Stress or Heat Stroke in English, which is used to describe the symptoms caused by hyperthermia in pets.
Heat Stress is usually used to describe milder symptoms of heatstroke. Generally, pets have only experienced overheating for a short period of time but then cooled down in time. Only mild dehydration and drowsiness occurred without major problems. Heat Stroke is used to describe more severe symptoms of heatstroke, which may affect the skin, internal organs, vascular system, muscles, and nerves.
Because cats and dogs have few sweat glands, they cannot cool down by sweating all over the body as humans do. Most of them can only dissipate heat through panting and the cool outside environment, so they are more prone to heatstroke.

Common causes of heatstroke in pets

Keep pets outdoors in hot weather;
Keep your pet in a hot and humid environment with high humidity, even if the temperature is not particularly high;
Excessive exercise/play;
Insufficient water source;
On hot days, pets are left in sealed houses without air conditioning or ventilation;
Pets are left in the car, even if the temperature may not be particularly hot at the time;
In addition, cats and dogs with the following characteristics are generally more prone to heatstroke:
Breeds with flat faces or short noses, such as Persian cats, exotic shorthair cats, pugs, bulldogs, etc.;
Overweight or obese;
Have breathing problems;
Thick and long hair;
Too young or too old;
Heatstroke symptoms in cats and dogs;
You need to pay special attention to some possible signs of heatstroke in cats and dogs, including:
Be irritable and look for a cool place everywhere;
Whine
Panting
Excessive drooling;
Keep licking hair;
More severe heat stroke symptoms include:
Difficulty breathing;
Fast heartbeat
Redness of the tongue and gums;
Vomiting
Diarrhea, which may be bloody;
Little or no urination;
Weakness, lethargy;
Muscle tremor;
Uncoordinated movements and false footsteps;
Suddenly fainted;
Seizures;
The breeder can also measure the retal temperature for cat and dog owners to check for heatstroke. Generally speaking, when the pet’s body temperature exceeds 103°F (39.4°C), it will be considered abnormal or too high, and heat stress will appear; if the pet has no other signs of illness but the body temperature reaches 106°F (41°F) ), usually because of a too long time in an overheated environment, there will be a heat stroke; when the pet’s body temperature reaches 107°F~109°F (41.2°C~42.7°C), it will lead to multiple organ failure or even death.

First aid for heatstroke in cats and dogs

Animal heatstroke is an emergency medical condition, so you must go to the veterinarian as soon as possible for a professional examination.
If you suspect that your pet has heatstroke, you can take the following emergency first aid measures before going to the veterinarian to bring your pet’s body temperature to a normal value as soon as possible:
Move the pet to a cool environment immediately;
Give your pet a cold bath, or spray cold water on the hair, you can fan the wind to help accelerate the evaporation of water and heat dissipation;
Let your pet drink as much cold water as possible, but don’t force it to drink;
Moistening the environment near the pet can also help cool down;
But don’t use ice water or ice cubes, it may cause other problems.

How does a veterinarian treat pet heatstroke?

The veterinarian will assess the severity of the pet’s heatstroke by checking the pet’s temperature and other vital signs. If necessary, the following treatment measures may be taken, such as:
Give pets an infusion;
Give pets cooling treatment, such as cooling enemas;
Give pets oxygen;
Prescription drugs
Blood test to check visceral function;
Stay in hospital for observation and so on.

How to prevent heatstroke in pets?

You can create an appropriate environment for your pets to avoid the problem of pet heatstroke, such as:
Provide pets with a cool and ventilated resting place;
Allow pets to drink fresh and clean water at any time;
Do not leave pets in the car. Even if the temperature is not very hot that day, the temperature inside the sealed car will rise quickly;
Choose a cooler time like early morning or evening to walk the dog to avoid hot periods;
If you take your dog for a long distance, take a break and bring enough drinking water.

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