Heat stress in pets

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Echuca Veterinary Clinic
332 High Street
Echuca
Victoria 3564

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Phone:
03 5482 3202

Deniliquin Veterinary Clinic
389 Poictiers Street
Deniliquin
NSW 2710

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Phone:
03 5881 5488

Moama Veterinary Clinic
61 Meninya Street
Moama
Vic 2731

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Phone:
03 5480 6071

Finley Veterinary Clinic
57 Warmatta St
Finley
NSW 2713

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Phone:
03 5883 3833
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Before the real heat of summer sets in, it is important that pet owners are aware 
of the serious risks associated with heat stress in our pets. We have already seen 
a couple of cases in the clinic throughout these cooler spring months, and it can 
prove to be fatal if not acted upon quickly.
Dogs are unable to sweat, and rely solely upon panting to keep themselves cool. 
This is an inefficient method of body cooling, meaning that dogs can die within 
six minutes of being locked inside a car on a warm day. Those with short 
brachycephalic noses (Pugs, Bulldogs) are most at risk. NEVER leave your pet in 
a locked car, even with the windows down.
However, dogs can also be prone to heat stress even if just sitting outside, 
especially our more geriatric pets. Tips to keep your pets cool over summer can 
include:
 Placing ice cubes in water bowls, or freezing half the water bowl the night 
before and topping up in the morning
 Always having an extra bowl of water present in case one gets knocked 
over. This is especially important for those pets that are left alone for 
majority of the day!
 Shallow swimming pools (under your supervision)
 Freezing chicken or vegetable stock overnight, and feeding it to pets in 
the morning
 Exercising in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid the heat of the 
day
The signs of early heat stress in your pet can just be increased agitation, and they 
may run around panting and whining. As heat stress progresses, they will appear 
to be struggling to breathe and may take bigger and deeper breaths. They may 
also drool, vomit, collapse and/or have seizures in advanced cases – almost as if 
they have been bitten by a snake! It is vital that you bring your pet to the vet 
clinic as soon as possible so that a diagnosis can be made, and treatment can be 
commenced straight away. Keep calm and wrap your pet in cool damp towels 
before you place them in the car to try and reduce their body temperature 
slowly. 
It is likely that we will need to hospitalize your pet and put them on intravenous 
fluids to counteract their shock. The earlier your pet is brought to us, the greater 
the success rate of treatment – but prevention is key!
If you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact us on (03) 5883 
3833.

Before the real heat of summer sets in, it is important that pet owners are aware of the serious risks associated with heat stress in our pets. We have already seen a couple of cases in the clinic throughout the cooler spring months, and it can prove to be fatal if not acted upon quickly.

Dogs are unable to sweat, and rely solely upon panting to keep themselves cool. This is an inefficient method of body cooling, meaning that dogs can die within six minutes of being locked inside a car on a warm day. Those with short brachycephalic noses (Pugs, Bulldogs) are most at risk. NEVER leave your pet in a locked car, even with the windows down.

However, dogs can also be prone to heat stress even if just sitting outside, especially our more geriatric pets. Tips to keep your pets cool over summer can include:

·         Placing ice cubes in water bowls, or freezing half the water bowl the night before and topping up in the morning

·         Always having an extra bowl of water present in case one gets knocked over. This is especially important for those pets that are left alone for majority of the day!

·         Shallow swimming pools (under your supervision)

·         Freezing chicken or vegetable stock overnight, and feeding it to pets in the morning

·         Exercising in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid the heat of the day

The signs of early heat stress in your pet can just be increased agitation, and they may run around panting and whining. As heat stress progresses, they will appear to be struggling to breathe and may take bigger and deeper breaths. They may also drool, vomit, collapse and/or have seizures in advanced cases – almost as if they have been bitten by a snake! It is vital that you bring your pet to the vet clinic as soon as possible so that a diagnosis can be made, and treatment can be commenced straight away. Keep calm and wrap your pet in cool damp towels before you place them in the car to try and reduce their body temperature slowly.

It is likely that we will need to hospitalize your pet and put them on intravenous fluids to counteract their shock. The earlier your pet is brought to us, the greater the success rate of treatment – but prevention is key!


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