Owners of pets in York County need to be aware of the risks of Heat Stroke as warmer weather quickly approaches.
Heatstroke has classically been classified into two types
Exertional heatstroke occurs during exercise and is more common in dogs that have not been acclimated to their environment. Did you know that military dogs once acclimated have been known to work in 140 degree temperatures with no adverse effects?
Take home message: As temperatures rise in Rock Hill and you expect your pet will be active out-doors, begin acclimating them. Partial acclimation can occur in 10 to 20 days, but can take up to 60 days.
Nonexertional heatstroke results from exposure to increased environmental temperature in the absence of cooling. The most common examples are dogs left in a parked car or left in a carewithout shade and water. The following are some examples of risk factors that may predispose a dog to heat stroke:
“Short snouted dogs” such as Bulldogs, Boston Terriers or pugs
Dogs with diseases constricting their airways such laryngeal paralysis, chronic bronchitis, collapsing trachea, or heart disease
Dogs with diseases such as arthritis limiting their ability to get up and move to shade
Heat stroke has multiple severe effects on the system when the body temperature approaches 106.7. Dogs with heatstroke often are collapsed, have a loss of balance or have seizures. They may have diarrhea which is often timesbloody.
Heatstroke is an emergency and treatment needs to be started as soon as possible, even before the pet reaches the hospital.
Cooling-This is the most important part of treatment.
Do-Apply cool ro tepid water to the skn
Do-Monitor temperature every 5 minutes until the temperature reaches 103.5 then discontinue
Do-Bring your pet to Catawba Animal Clinic or if after hours take directly to the emergency clinic.
Do NOT-use ice as this may damage the skin, make the pet uncomfortable and has been shown to actually decrease cooling by constricting blood vessels.
Make sure your dog has plenty of shade and drinking water
Exercise dogs during cooler parts fo the day
NEVER leave dogs alone in closed vehicles
Acclimate dogs to warm temperatures for up to 2 months
Be extra careful to avoid increased temperatures in dogs with medical conditions that put them at more risk such as arthritis, laryngeal paralysis, obesity, or heart disease.