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Posted on 07-05-2011
At our Austin emergency animal hospital, we specialize in providing emergency veterinary services after hours for pets. Pet owners can bring their pets to us during those nights, holidays, and weekends when other veterinarians are closed. Our after hours veterinarian starts to see more cases of heatstroke as the weather continues to get hotter, so we are devoting this blog entry to heatstroke, how to spot it, and how to prevent it. Heatstroke is a preventable condition, so knowledge about what it is and how it works is essential.
Heatstroke is one of the serious conditions that we sometimes see at our after hours veterinarian. Our emergency vet clinic has successfully treated many cases of heatstroke. This condition generally occurs if the pet's body is unable to dissipate heat. The heat can come from a variety of sources, with humidity being a leading source, and over exercise or metabolic factors also playing a role in some cases. Even though dogs don't sweat, they dispel extra body heat by panting. At times the pet is simply unable to dispel all that heat.
Our veterinary hospital advises pet owners to use caution when taking pets for long walks or outside play sessions during the hotter months. We recommend that major physical activity like running and playing is done earlier in the morning or after sundown to avoid too much sun exposure. Pet owners should always make sure that plenty of water is provided for the pet and encourage the pet to take regular rest breaks during play sessions in hotter weather.
A common cause of heat stroke that we see here at our veterinary hospital is animals being left in a closed vehicle. A recent study showed that a dog left trapped in a car with an outside temperature of 84.2 degrees Fahrenheit and relative humidity level of 90 percent could die within 48 minutes in half of the cases. We warn our clients here at our Austin emergency animal hospital that pets should never be left in a locked vehicle, regardless of outdoor temperature. Temperatures can change quickly here in Texas at times, and your animal could be at risk of heatstroke in a matter of minutes.
Our Austin after hours veterinarian sees certain symptoms that indicate heat stroke regularly. Dogs symptoms may include excess panting, extreme salivation, bright red gums, depression, a prostrate position, weakness, sudden collapse, vomiting, and seizure. Cat symptoms seen at our emergency vet clinic are often similar, although cats often do not pant the way dogs do, making heatstroke potentially harder to spot in cats.
If you suspect your pet may be suffering from heatstroke, immediate care is essential. Our veterinary hospital can be immediately contacted for advice, but be sure to cool the animal down via spraying them in cool water and putting a fan in front of the pet the moment you suspect heat stroke. We are here to provide your pet with urgent care and will do our very best to prevent heatstroke from harming your pet companion.
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