Know the signs: Heatstroke
by Ontario SPCA and Humane Society | General Pet Care | June 27, 2022
Summer weather is a time to get out and enjoy a walk, play in the park, enjoy a day on the water, or relax in the backyard. But high temperatures can put our furry friends at risk, which is why every pet parent should be aware of the signs of heatstroke and take extra precautions during warm weather.
Know the signs and what you need to do if you suspect your animal companion has heatstroke.
Signs of heatstroke include:
- Increased heart rate
- Excessive panting or drooling
- Dry, sticky gums in some cases
- Confusion or disorientation
- Abnormal gum colour
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Collapse, seizure or coma
- Body temperature higher than 40°C
What to do:
- Move your dog out of the heat immediately.
- Use a hose or wet towels to start cooling your dog down. Do not use ice. Offer your dog water.
- Take your dog to a veterinarian immediately. Continue cooling them with wet towels during the drive.
- If you’re unable to get to a veterinarian right away, monitor your animal’s temperature and check for signs of shock. Stop the cooling process when your dog’s temperature reaches 40°C, otherwise their body temperature can drop too low and increase the risk of shock.
- Even if your dog cools down, take them to a vet as soon as possible, as some medical problems caused by heatstroke may not show up right away.
Extra precautions need to be taken during hot weather to keep your animals safe. Even a short time in a hot environment can be life-threatening for your pet. Limit the length of time spent outdoors, never leave an animal unattended in a vehicle, and ensure animals always have sufficient water and a cool, sheltered place out of direct sun.
If you see an animal in distress in the heat, call the government’s animal protection hotline at 1-833-9ANIMAL or your local police.
Three cheers for the volunteers!
Three cheers for the volunteers! Keep doing wonderful work, thank you!