Heat wave means pet precautions

December 21, 2012
Heat wave means pet precautions

With Christmas temperatures forecast to rise above 35 degrees, Murdoch University Veterinary Hospital is reminding people to be mindful of heat stroke in pets.

Dr Lisa Smart of Murdoch Pet Emergency Centre (MPEC) said pets had similar needs to their human companions on hot days.

"Our furry friends are at risk of developing when temperatures spike, especially this early in the season when their bodies haven't had a chance to acclimatise," Dr Smart said.

"The key is to keep the down by wetting the skin, getting into the shade or cooling down in air conditioning. don't sweat, so giving them a paddle pool with water can really help."

Dr Smart said older dogs, puppies and breeds with short snouts such as pugs, bulldogs and boxers were most susceptible to heat. Extremely active and playful dogs were at risk, as they can overexert themselves.

"You can't assume dogs will stop playing when they feel hot. Often they'll want to please you and will play or run until they suddenly collapse from heat stroke," she said.

"In , the only suitable times to play are early in the morning and evenings, preferably when the temperatures are below 32 degrees. And remember, if you're going to the park or beach, bring a bowl and fresh water along."

Dr Smart said heat stroke cases brought to MPEC often involved pets who had been left in cars – even for only a few minutes – as well as those without access to shade.

She said this included dogs tied up in backyards who had become exposed when the sun shifted in the sky, as well as dogs in the back of utes. Dogs in utes were also at risk for burns from metal heating up.

Signs of heat stroke include excessive panting, bright red gums and skin, vomiting, , collapse, and seizures.

If you do think your dog may have heat stroke, they need immediate .

Dr Smart advises people to soak their dog with water before loading them into the car to the vet and to keep the car air conditioner on high during the trip. She said to never cover your pet with wet towels, as these can act as insulation and prevent cooling.

Explore further: Vet says owners should exercise with their dogs based on specific needs to prevent obesity

Related Stories

Lungworm more prevalent in young dogs not wormed regularly

September 28, 2010

Young dogs and those that are not wormed regularly are significantly more likely to be infected with the life-threatening, parasitic lungworm, Angiostrongylus vasorum, according to new research from the University of Bristol.

Recommended for you

Genomes uncover life's early history

August 24, 2015

A University of Manchester scientist is part of a team which has carried out one of the biggest ever analyses of genomes on life of all forms.

Rare nautilus sighted for the first time in three decades

August 25, 2015

In early August, biologist Peter Ward returned from the South Pacific with news that he encountered an old friend, one he hadn't seen in over three decades. The University of Washington professor had seen what he considers ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.