July 2017 Magazines - Page 48

Recognizing and Preventing Heatstroke As the pet owner, it’s your responsibility to protect them from overheating. It’s important to know the signs of possible heat stroke and a few simple ways to avoid it from happening. Remember that very young and very old dogs are most likely to endure overheating so always consider their age when plan- ning outings and be modest in the activity’s intensity. Signs your dog is too hot include: • Body temperature in excess of 104ºF • Panting • Excessive drooling • Rapid or irregular heart rate • Seemingly imbalanced or in a stupor • Seizures • Vomiting • Bloody stool • Unconsciousness If you notice your pet exhibiting any of these signs, there are a few things you can do to bring their body temperature down, but you must act fast. Gently spray or soak the dog in cool water, making sure the water is cool and not COLD to avoid the blood vessels constricting and preventing heat dissipation. You can also wrap the dog in cool, damp towels in a well-ventilated or fanned room making sure to monitor them for shivering which creates internal heat. Evaporative cooling is also effective. Swipe your pet’s paw pads, groin, and under their forelegs with rubbing alcohol for a quick cool down. Of course, allow (but don’t force) them to drink cool water and cease all treatment once your pet’s temperature returns to 103ºF to avoid them dropping below normal. A vet visit may be necessary to ensure your pet didn’t incur any long-term health damage and discuss your pet’s heat sensitivity and how best to regulate their temperature. Of course, prevention is key when it comes to being safe this summer. Always give your pet a cool, shaded place to retreat to as well as access to clean, fresh water and don’t discount the plethora of products out there intended to keep your pet hap- pily by your side, regardless of how hot it is outside.