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What To Do If Your Pet Falls Victim to Heat Exhaustion

With summer fast approaching, it’s the perfect time to ensure you are prepared to handle the potential pet health hazards that accompany the arrival of warm weather. While the summer season is often associated with the conversation of flea, tick, and heartworm prevention, there is another risk that pet owners must be aware of, and that’s heat exhaustion.

What Is Heat Exhaustion?

Heat exhaustion, also known as heat stroke or heat illness, refers to a phenomenon that occurs when the body cannot handle the intense heat it is being exposed to. As a result, the body temperature rises to a level that causes illness. In dogs, that level is 105F or higher.  

What Are the Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion?

There are several symptoms of heat exhaustion ranging from mild to life-threatening. The most commonly seen symptoms of heat exhaustion include the following:

·       Panting

·       Increased drooling

·       Rise in body temperature

·       Red or dry gums and mouth

·       Fast heart rate

·       Unresponsive or lethargic behavior

·       Vomiting

·       Diarrhea

·       Seizures

·       Instability or collapse

How Do I Manage Heat Exhaustion?

If you are enjoying a beautiful, sunny day when your pet suddenly begins displaying symptoms of heat exhaustion, the first step is to remove your dog from the heat and bring them to a shaded, cool area. If you do not have access to a thermometer and the symptoms do not begin subsiding, it’s imperative to bring your dog to the veterinarian as quickly as possible.

In the event that you do have access to a thermometer, check your dog’s temperature. If their temperature is above 105F, it’s important to bring your pet to the veterinary hospital as a dog with symptoms of heat exhaustion can quickly face fatal outcomes.

To cool your dog off, use cool water to gently hose or sponge your pet’s body while paying careful attention to their underside to lower their body temperature. You may also use a fan to facilitate the cooling. Be sure to not use cold water during this process. 

For more information on managing heat exhaustion in dogs, contact your trusted veterinarian today!



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