We have started to see heatstroke cases already and summer is not even here yet.
Because our pets do not sweat they can not tolerate as higher temperatures as humans. The
way dogs cool their body temperature down is by panting, this exchanges warm air for
cool air so when the air temperature is close to the body temperature, panting is not an
Brachcephalic breeds (flat-faced dogs like pugs & boxers) have restricted airways, which
makes it more difficult to pant in hot conditions. The airways also get hot and can become
swollen which further restricts the breathing. These breeds can suffer heatstroke
at lower temperatures and humidity than owners may think.
Other dog breeds of course can also get heat stroke if overheated. Exercised on hot
humid days, left in a car or small area, or any reason for excessive panting
(eg. separation anxiety) can cause heatstroke.
Heat stroke can be fatal, so please don't allow your dog or cat to become victim of heatstroke this summer.
Heatstroke is preventable!
Some tips to prevent this from happening to your pet:
In outdoor areas provide a cool, shaded area with good ventilation - plenty of fresh
clean water (more than one bowl in case of spillage).
Never tie your dog up in the sun - in extreme weather bring your pets inside
where there is often air conditioning, fans, large open windows etc.
Never exercise your pet in hot humid conditions (walking your dog early in the morning or late in the afternoon is much safer).
Never leave your pet in a a car, (on a typical Australian summer day, the temperature inside a parked car can be as high as 30- 40 degrees Celsius, higher than the outside temperature) a dog will not survive long in these temperatures.
Dogs traveling on the back of Utes need to have suitable material provided as shade to
protect the dog from direct sun.
Long haired dogs and cats can be clipped to help with overheating. Please take care with overweight pets and pets with respiratory disease they are at greater risks.
Signs of heatstroke:
Excessive panting – drooling – vomiting – diarrhea – weakness – fatigue - muscle
tremors and spasms - signs of confusion – staggering - collapsing and/ or lying down.
Animals suffering heatstroke require prompt veterinary attention; emergency first aid can
be started at home by hosing the animal or placing it in a cool water bath then allowing a
fan to blow on the wet dog to normalize the body temperature.
Do not use ice-cold water or ice as this may exacerbate the problem.
Never leave children or pets alone in a hot car.