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Animal Hospital of Sullivan County Treating Heat Strokes in Pets 

Every summer, our Sullivan County veterinarian sees cases of pets suffering symptoms of heat stroke. This condition is severe and often life threatening, but fortunately, it is easy to avoid heat stroke in pets when you know how to prevent it. Get our vet's top tips on dealing with heat stroke in pets. 

dog running in field

What is Heat Stroke? 

A heat stroke develops when your dog is unable to cool down their body temperature, and overheats. The chief way dogs cool their bodies is through panting; dogs are also able to release some heat through the pads of their feet. 

If your dog enters heat stroke, they can grow unconscious and die. Thus, it's important that you know the causes of heat stroke and its warning signs. 

The main cause of heat stroke is overheating by being in a hot environment, typically a hot car. If you leave your pet outside on a hot day with no access to fresh water or shade, they could also develop a heat stroke. The best way to avoid a heat stroke is by keeping your pet in a shady environment or leaving them at home when the weather is hot. 

Warning Signs of Heat Stroke 

Its chief symptom, excessive panting, may be something your pet does whenever he or she is hot. Look for these other clues to tell if your pet may be having a heat stroke: 

  • Drooling 
  • Temperature of 106 (your dog's normal temperature is 102.5)
  • Red gums 
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Vomiting blood 
  • Wobbly movement 
  • Unconsciousness

If you spot any of these signs, it's critical to seek care right away, since your pets' organs may begin to fail. 

Overweight dogs, puppies, and old dogs are more susceptible to heat stroke. Dogs with very thick coats of fur are more susceptible than dogs with thin coats of fur. Dogs that have other medical conditions, such as an overactive thyroid or compromised lungs, are also more susceptible to heat stroke. The short nosed breeds like bulldogs and pugs are at an increased risk as well.

How Our Ferndale Veterinarian Treats Heat Stroke 

When you bring your dog to us, we will check their temperature to find out whether your dog is experiencing heat stroke. We'll try to bring your dog's temperature down quickly while treating them for shock or unconsciousness. During the stabilization process, we will administer IV fluids as well. Dogs become very dehydrated when in heat stroke, so it is important that we replenish their fluids.   We will get lab work to make sure there is no evidence of organ damage and to serve as a baseline and to direct treatment.

We'll also treat any secondary conditions that are occurring as a result of heat stroke. For example, if your dog has started to elevate blood pressure, we will lower their blood pressure and work to normalize their wellness. 

We will keep monitoring your dog at the Animal Hospital of Sullivan County until we feel confident that your pet has made a full recovery. 

Get Pet Care in Ferndale 

Do you need pet care in Sullivan County, for heat stroke or anything else? Our Ferndale veterinarian is here for you. Reserve your appointment by calling us at 845-292-6711.

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