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Posts Tagged ‘heatstroke’

Summer Dangers – Pavements, Roads and Cars

Milton Keynes Veterinary Group
It is extremely important, to never leave your pet alone in your car on a hot summer’s day even if the windows are left slightly open or parked in the shade. The temperature in a car can rise dramatically on a warm day, even when it doesn’t feel that warm outside.

Dogs left in a car on a hot summer’s day can become extremely distressed and an experience heatstroke as a result. Symptoms can include:
  • Excessive drooling and thirst
  • Lethargy
  • Dark pigmentation to tongue
  • Heavy panting
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Lack of coordination
Heatstroke can be a difficult condition to treat, however need their body temperature lowering gradually, if you think your pet is experiencing signs of heatstroke, move them to a shaded area, provide a cool (NOT COLD) wet towel and place in a breeze of a fan. Please contact you vets immediately to obtain further advice and to be seen at the practice.

As well as cars, pavements and roads can become extremely hot on a warm summer’s day. Studies have shown pavements and roads can reach temperatures of 52oC on warm days, which is enough to severely burn your dog’s paws. As a test, place the back of your hand on the surface for seven seconds – if this is too hot for you, then it is too hot for your pet! Make sure to walk them at the cooler times of day either early morning and late evening to avoid this.
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Keeping pets safe during the warmer weather and when visiting the practice

Milton Keynes Veterinary Group
In the last few weeks we have had some warmer weather, please bear in mind our pets aren’t able to cope as well in warmer weather. Therefore as owners, we need to make sure they are safe, cool, healthy and happy.

Hot cars are one of the biggest health concerns during the warmer months. Animals should never be left in a locked car when it’s hot outside. Even if the window is open, temperatures can increase to extreme levels very quickly. As a result, pets suffer from heatstroke.
If you are traveling to the surgery for an appointment and you are waiting outside in a car, please be mindful and use air conditioning where possible. There are water bowls accessible outside the practice. Please use these as needed whilst remembering to keep your distance from each other.

Other considerations for owners during the warmer climate:

PROTECTING YOUR PET’S SKIN
Animals can get sunburnt too just like us! If they will be exposed to the sunlight, apply sun cream to white and pink areas of their skin and importantly the tip of the ears. Animals with lighter coloured fur will be more prone.

FROZEN TREATS Animals will love to have something cool, so why not pop your dog’s Kong in the freezer for a nice cool and refreshing treat. You can also use frozen water bottles wrapped in a towel and pop it in their bed for our cats and small furries

FLYSTRIKE
Our smaller pets such as rabbits and guinea pigs can be more at risk more quickly in the hotter temperatures. To reduce the chance of flystrike, check around their bottoms for fly eggs or maggots. This should be checked at least once a day. There are preventative treatments for Flystrike which last around 6 weeks depending on the product.

WALKING YOUR PETS
We advise to walk your dog during the cooler times of the day such as early morning or late evening. If it is still too hot to walk them, give them a rest of the evening. It is safer for them to not have a walk than to be at risk of heatstroke.

WATCH OUT FOR GRASS SEEDS
After walking your dog, it is a good idea to check their feet for any grass seeds. If these are left, they can track under the dog’s skin and cause swelling and lameness. They can also be found in dog’s ears!

HEATSTROKE
Signs to look out for include collapse, rapid panting, excessive drooling and sticky gums. Provide your pet with plenty of fresh, clean drinking water and provide a shaded area. If you are worried that you pet is suffering from heatstroke, please seek veterinary advice immediately.

PROVIDING COOL AREAS
Prevent your pet from sitting in direct sunlight, provide a shaded area and move hutches and cages if necessary.
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Heatstroke – recognising the signs

Signs of heatstroke may vary from different animals, however these are the main symptoms to look out for: –

  • Faster, heavier panting
  • Signs of agitation
  • Excessive thirst
  • Excessive drooling
  • Increased pulse / heartbeat
  • Elevated body temperature
  • Weakness or collapse
  • Seizures
  • Unconsciousness

What to do if you think your pet is suffering from heatstroke?

If your dog is suffering from heat stroke, they need to have their body temperature lowered gradually.
  • Move your pet to a shaded/cool area
  • Provide your pet with fresh, cool water in small quantities
  • Contact your vet immediately for advice
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