Summer Pet Tips From Your Veterinarian in Richmond

Avoiding heat stroke is a big concern of your veterinarian in Richmond during the summer months.  Heat stroke can happen any time, but during the hotter summer months, veterinarians across the country see more and more heat stroke victims.  Here are a few things to consider about keeping your pet safe in summer.

Heat Adversely Effects Pets

Pets don’t sweat like humans do, so they can’t always cool down the way we do.  They also usually have thick fur that keeps the heat in.  Pets like dogs and cats lose some of the heat through their paws, pads and skin but not a lot.  The respiratory tract is primary means of losing heat and that is why you will see them panting when they get hot.

Your pet’s normal temperature is between 100 and 102 degrees.  Hyperthermia (elevated core body temperatures) can be very dangerous and life threatening.  If your pet’s temperature hits 104 degrees hyperthermia can set in.  At 106 degrees they will experience a heat stroke.  This will cause vomiting, diarrhea, collapse, seizures, organ failure, coma and possibly death.  If you think your pet may have a heat related illness or a heat stroke, bring them to your veterinarian in Richmond as soon as possible.

Tips to Keep Your Pet Safe in The Heat

Keeping your pet well hydrated and offering them plenty of water is the best way to keep your pet safe.  They will lose a lot of water panting and through their skin and organs.  Your Richmond veterinarian sees dehydration often.

Make sure you exercise your pet during the morning or evening hours instead of during the heat of the day.  Consider staying in the shade and take breaks often.  If you usually run with your dog, consider leaving him or her home in the summer.

Never leave your pet in a parked car with the air off.  Open windows cannot keep a car from getting hot.  In summer, many pets are baked alive in cars.  Even if you think you will only be away from the car for a moment, things can happen and your pet will suffer.  It doesn’t take long for the inside of the car to get extremely hot.

Visit Your Veterinarian in Richmond

Heat is especially hard on juvenile, geriatric, sick, overweight or handicapped dogs and cats.  Before you start any exercise program with your pet, you should bring them in for a wellness exam.  Summer is a great time to spend with your pet getting them back in shape but it they are older or have ailments, it may be too hard on them.  Your veterinarian in Richmond can tell if they have any underlying conditions that would make them more prone to heat stroke or dehydration.  If you suspect your pet is ailing, you should bring them in for an exam as soon as you can.  Often by the time a pet is showing signs of illness they have been suffering silently for awhile.

If you have any questions about hyperthermia, heat stroke or dehydration, call Advanced Animal Care.

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