How to prevent your pets from suffering heatstroke - and what you should do if it happens
Veterinary nurse Stephanie Howe gives advice on how to deal with pets who have suffered heatstroke – and how you can prevent it happening.
Pets with furry coats find it very difficult to regulate their temperature and can easily develop life- threatening heatstroke on warm sunny days. In severe cases, the brain and vital organs get damaged which can lead to death. Those particularly susceptible are older or overweight animals and short- faced breeds.
Fast panting, difficulty breathing, increased heart rate, sticky saliva and drooling, weakness, standing still, looking anxious, dizziness, bloody diarrhoea, vomiting, shock, collapse.
Get them into the shade – preferably a cool place. If it’s possible, get them into a cool bath, paddling pool or under a gentle hose. Use ice wrapped in a tea towel or a packet of peas on their face and give them lots of cool, fresh water to drink.
If your pet has fainted be very careful not to get water in their nose or mouth. Once you feel your pet has cooled off get them to the vet urgently to be checked over for any hidden damage the heatstroke may have caused.
Our clinic is open 7 days a week and when we’re closed, your call will be routed through to our out of hours emergency service.
Prevention is always better than cure
Keep long-haired pet coats trimmed short in the warm months. Ensure they have plenty of shade and lots of fresh water to drink. If you have a garden, invest in a small paddling pool for cooling fun in the hottest months.
Feed and walk your pets early in the morning or later in the evening – beware of pavement heat on your dogs’ paws and carry a water bottle with frequent stops for a small drink if it’s still hot. Above all, NEVER leave your pet in a car, no matter how long, when it’s hot.
The Vet provides walk-ins Monday-Friday and appointments 7 days a week and specialises in affordable, quality care with a low-price match guarantee in a state-of-the-art 5,000 sq ft purpose-built clinic. Go to www.thevet.co.uk or call (023) 9421 7644