Protect pets against heat

Published 12:01 am Saturday, July 28, 2012



It’s literally the “dog days of summer,” with temperatures nearing 100 degrees daily, and a local veterinarian reminds residents to keep an eye on their animals.

“They need plenty of water,” said Dr. Cheryl Bailey, an Opp vet. “They can easily dehydrate in bad heat.”

Bailey said it’s important for owners to provide them with plenty of shade.

“Those that are in a more confined area, I’d suggest putting a fan on them,” she said.

So far this summer, Bailey said she hasn’t seen a heat-related case, but she normally sees quite a few cases in general.

“We treat them with IV fluids and cool them off gradually,” she said.

Bailey said if you suspect your pet or livestock is too hot, then try cooling them off from the legs and work upward.

“You don’t want to do it all at once,” she said. “It causes more problems.”

Bailey said dogs are more susceptible to heat exhaustion.

“We see more dogs,” she said. “It’s probably from being tied up or lying in the sun.”

Bailey also reminded owners not to leave their furry friends in a car.

“It’s like leaving a kid in the car,” she said. “It could easily kill one because the temperature goes very high.”

Symptoms of overheating in pets include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse.

They can also include seizure, bloody diarrhea and vomit along with an elevated body temperature of more than 104 degrees.

Animals with flat faces such as Pugs and Persian cats are more susceptible to heat stroke since they cannot pant as effectively.