Heat Stroke in Dogs & Cats Prevent Your Pet from Overheating


Heatstroke: Prevent Your Pet from Overheating

Heatstroke, which is also known as hyperthermia, occurs when a dog or a cat’s body temperature becomes excessively high. This is a very dangerous condition that typically requires a trip to a veterinarian and could even be potentially fatal. Fortunately, heatstroke is fairly easy to prevent, and that is why at Central Animal Hospital in Scarsdale, NY, we wanted to share these important pet tips for heatstroke prevention.

The Common Causes of Heatstroke

Dogs and cats can’t sweat like humans do which is done to regulate our body temperature. Instead, pets pant or sweat through their footpads to cool their bodies down. Unfortunately, neither of these methods are very effective. So, it’s much easier for a pet to overheat than for humans.

One of the most common causes of heatstroke is leaving a pet in a car on a warm or hot day. The interior of a car that has the windows rolled up or slightly cracked can rise quickly and endanger your pet’s life. For example, the outside air temperature may be a comfortable 75 degrees, but within 10 minutes, the temperature inside a closed car can reach 94 degrees. By 30 minutes, your poor pet will be suffering in 109-degree temperature. That is why it is best to avoid leaving your pet in a car, even on a seemingly mild day.

Other common causes of heatstroke include:

  • Leaving your pet outdoors on a hot day without an appropriate shelter and/or water supply.
  • Over-exercising, especially on a hot day.
  • Having a flat face. Dog and cat breeds with flat faces, such as pugs or Persian cats, can often experience difficulty breathing when they overexert themselves.

The Symptoms of Heatstroke

The following are some but not all of the symptoms of heatstroke:

  • Dizziness
  • Shock
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Bright red tongue and/or gums
  • Rapid panting or trouble breathing
  • Seizures

See Your Veterinarian Immediately

Heatstroke is a medical emergency. If you suspect that your pet is experiencing heatstroke, it is important to bring your pet immediately to Central Animal Hospital in Scarsdale, NY, for an examination and treatment. If you have any questions about heatstroke or pet care, call us today at 914-723-1250.