School is out, you could literally fry an egg on the pavement!
School is out, you could literally fry an egg on the pavement around 3 pm, and fireworks are just around the corner! With 100 degree temperatures here in the Grand Valley be sure your pets have full time access to cool fresh water and shade.
Many of our patients have been sporting new haircuts when they trot in for their wellness visit check up, looking comfortable and savvy for the summer. Heatstroke is no joking matter for people or pets so help avoid the risks and know the signs to watch for.
A state of extreme hyperthermia is defined when body temperatures reach 106 degrees F resulting in injury to tissues and cell death. We rarely see cats affected, but dogs frequently can succumb to heatstroke. Some risk factors include overweight dogs, breeds prone to airway obstruction, exertion in hot humid weather, dehydration, and poorly ventilated housing. High ambient temperatures and increased humidity make it difficult for your dog's normal body mechanisms to function at optimal levels. Heavy panting, drooling and vasodilation of blood vessels cool the body by evaporation and radiation, but heatstroke occurs when the body's ability to dissipate heat is exceeded by the amount of heat being generated. Heatstroke can be prevented by taking certain precautions and knowing when to intervene if your pet is showing signs of distress. Don't leave or cage animals outdoors without shade and water when temperatures are high. Never leave an animal in a closed compartment, like a car, as the sun has an oven like effect in such conditions. Take special precautions with aged, obese, or sickly animals who may be compromised. Some pets will lie in a sunny window and fall asleep thus failing to move out of harms way. Signs that signal early heat stroke include heavy rapid panting, a rapid heart rate with bounding pulses, vomiting, diarrhea, depression, and collapse. Immediate efforts should be made to cool your pet if you are think heat stress is an issue. Spraying or immersing your pet in cold water before seeking veterinary attention can be beneficial, but do not use ice water as this can actually inhibit heat loss as superficial vessels in the skin will constrict preventing convection and radiant cooling from occurring.
Aware and prepared, you and your pet have it made in the shade! Stay cool and hydrated making the most of this wonderful summer heat!