Veterinarian in Jacksonville, FL offers tips for preventing heat stroke in cats and dogs

At Blue Star Pet Hospital and Grooming, pet parents have access to quality care for their furry family members. Cats and dogs can enjoy care and attention from our team of professionals, ensuring Jacksonville, FL area pet patients have a veterinarian team they trust. One common concern is heat stroke, and our team will advise pet parents on tips for preventing, recognizing, and treating heat stroke in dogs and cats during the warm months. Florida is known for warm, sunny days, so taking great care in maintaining your pet’s body temperature and reducing their risk of heat stroke is incredibly important to the health and wellbeing of both cats and dogs. Today, we will discuss the ways in which you can monitor your pet for heat stroke, prevent it from occurring, and handle the situation should it ever occur under your care.

Recognizing heat stroke

Heat stroke, also known as hyperthermia, relates to an elevated body temperature past the normal, which is often between 99.5 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit for pets. After the point of 103 degrees, pets are at risk for heat stroke, and at around 109, the situation becomes life-threatening. Signs of heat stroke include the following:

  • Excessive panting
  • Closing the eyes
  • Lethargy/weakness
  • Sluggishness
  • Bright red tongue
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Collapse
  • Coma
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If at any point you notice these concerns, it is important that you take the proper steps to cool your pet down and get them to the veterinarian for immediate care.

Treating heat stroke

If you suspect that your pet is dealing with heat stroke, it is important to take them to the veterinarian immediately, as it is a serious emergency that requires care from a professional. While on the way to Blue Star Pet Hospital and Grooming, you should make attempts to reduce their body temperature. This can be done by placing cold washcloths or ice on various areas of the body to cool them down and get their body temperature below 103. You can attempt to administer cold water to your pet via squirt bottle if they are resistant to drinking on their own. Once at the veterinarian’s office, your pet can receive the care and attention they need to help restore their body temperature and reduce the risk of serious, permanent medical issues.

Preventing heat stroke

Little kitten playing with big dog

Of course, it is important to prevent heat stroke from even becoming a problem. Heat stroke can be prevented by ensuring that you are taking action in maintaining pets’ body temperature at regular levels. This means that you should avoid having your dog out on super-hot days when the sun’s heat could be detrimental to their health and wellbeing. Pets should always have access to cool water to keep themselves hydrated during warm days. Additionally, pet parents should avoid keeping their pet in a hot car without access to fresh, cool air and water. Pet parents should NEVER keep an animal in a hot car for any period, as the temperature in a vehicle can rise quickly even with cracked windows. This is the most common cause of heat strokes in pets. Other reasons may be due to excessive excitement, long exposure to the outdoors on a hot day, and vigorous exercise in the heat without access to fluids and rest. Some pets are more at risk for heat stroke because of shorter, smaller airways such as Persian cats and Boxers, Bulldogs, and Pugs. These are common breeds that may be susceptible to issues on warm days, as well as pets of any breed that have dark, thick coats or are overweight.

Interested in learning more about prevention, recognition, and treatment of medical conditions in your pets?

Contact the team of Blue Star Pet Hospital and Grooming to learn more about heat stroke and other concerns that may affect your cat or dog during their lifetime. Dr. Venkat Gutta and his team are here to assist with a variety of treatments. Call the office today to book an appointment for your pet at (904) 720-4272 and visit at 11048 Baymeadows Road, Ste. #4.

 

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