It’s hot. It’s really hot. It’s really too hot for our animals who can’t take off fur coats or take a refreshing dip anytime they want.
Have you ever put yourself in their shoes, and walked around in your winter parka on a hot summer day? Try it. It’s not pleasant.
Have you ever walked across hot, black pavement with say, only socks on? Try it. It’s not pleasant.
But more than just unpleasant, the summer months can quickly add dangerous risks to your dogs and cats.
Heat stroke can rapidly occur if an animal is left in a car, boat, home or even in the back of a truck exposed to sun. That’s because our animal’s normal body temperature is 101.5, compared to our 98.6. Their fur coats are not removable, and can only dissipate heat via panting or sweating in their paws. Panting is not only a lot of work but is an inefficient way to reduce body heat quickly, especially if the air they are breathing is hot.
The average car can heat up to 120 degrees within 15 minutes! Add that to an already warmer animal – well, it’s not pretty.
I don’t like to market fear, but heat stroke is one of the most awful things that can happen to your animal. The death is painful, the guilt unbearable, and it can happen much easier than you think. Thinking about the risk and knowing what to do is always valuable.
Signs of heat stroke:
- Hard panting, difficult breathing
- Rapid heart rate
- Increased thirst
- Dizziness, loss of coordination, trembling
- Very, very red gums
- Vomiting, bloody diarrhea
- Seizures, loss of consciousness
- Temperature over 104 degrees
Who is predisposed:
- Short nosed dogs
- New to hot weather (not acclimated)
- Thick coated
- Past history of heat stroke
- Left in the car on a hot day
- Poor sun shelter and protection
What can you do? First, don’t panic!
- Spray or pour cool water on the feet, belly and head
- Apply cold/wet towels to the feet, belly and head
- Turn on a fan
- Attempt to decrease body temperature to 103 within 15 minutes
- Homeopathic remedies
- Get to the vet asap!
In the MINI COURSE WILD BITES series on HOMEOPATHY FOR DOG AND CAT EMERGENCIES we’ll discuss using homeopathic remedies for all sort of emergencies, including heat stroke and other summer emergencies. To find out more go here.