My article in the Withernsea & District Community News
distributed to 9000 homes in East YorkshirePoppy’s Pets
The average body temperature of a cat and dog is higher than ours. Both will pant excessively to try and decrease that heat when their temperature increases. Panting is one warning sign of heat exhaustion.
Heatstroke is severe, resulting from a dangerously elevated body temperature, and emergency veterinary treatment is vital. The illness can cause severe organ damage or fatalities in just 15 minutes.
The mortality rate for dogs is high but the survival rate is more significant when owners have performed initial emergency first aid before transporting their pet to a vet. Your vet will perform a medical assessment and treat your pet accordingly – survival depends on different factors.
Some warning signs for heat exhaustion and heatstroke include:
- Excessive panting (open-mouthed for a cat), drooling and thirst
- Agitation (barking, restlessness, whimpering)
- Lethargic, collapse (activity levels change)
Dogs are more dominant on social media for heatstroke, but cats can also develop it, indoors or outdoors.
- GPS cat tracker for your cat (and dog) – with an app
- TabCat cat tracker – follow the handset to find your cat
Keep your feline cool:
- Keep blinds and curtains closed to block out the sun
- If possible, keep a room ventilated
- Put extra water bowls around the house so all pets can stay hydrated
- Fill a hot water bottle with cool water and lay by your cat.
- Squeeze a wet sponge over your feline’s body and wipe the water across the fur.
Apply the 7-Second Rule:
Another danger for dogs (and cats) is outdoor hot surfaces. Dogs can burn their paw pads in 60 seconds, resulting in a trip to see a vet.
Press the back of your hand against the ground or sand for 7 seconds. If too hot for you, it is too hot for a dog’s paw pads. The consequence is skin destruction and pain for your dog.
Did you know?
- Dogs are at risk of heatstroke in outdoor temperatures of 20℃ to 23℃
- It is safer to walk your dog before 8 am and after 8 pm
- Animals in any vehicle in the sun or shade with the windows or boot open can still suffer heatstroke
- Interior vehicle temperatures can be high on cloudy, hot days
- If an outside temperature is 22℃, inside any vehicle will reach 47℃ in about one hour. The outcome: possible death
- Always double the outside temperature to find an approximate vehicle interior temperature
- Vets have treated heatstroke for dogs left inside caravans, conservatories, camper vans
- Driving at hot peak times can be a dangerous hazard for your pet
- The old, the ill, and certain breeds are more prone to heatstroke
- Cats’ shut-in greenhouses or sheds become a death trap. Check before locking up
- It is important to put a bowl of water outside for animals and wildlife
Warning: never soak your pet in ice-cold water if heatstroke is suspected. The reaction of the cold vs. overheated body may shock your pet.
I am not a qualified veterinary professional. If you suspect your pet has symptoms of heatstroke, please telephone your local vet as an emergency and follow their advice.
Article published in the Withernsea & District Community News – August 2021