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How to recognize and treat heatstroke in your furry friends

Everybody loves a nice hot day but what about our furry friends?

Dogs can take up to two whole months to get acclimatized to new temperatures so we have to be especially mindful of them in the heat. Not only are they wearing a permanent fur coat they can’t take off, but they are also more sensitive to warmer temperatures.

In this episode of Pets First, our very own Sarah Jane sat down with Dr. Amy Johnson from South Mission Animal Hospital to discuss warning signs, prevention methods and treatment for heatstroke.

Pets Series 06 from NowMedia on Vimeo.

Heatstroke is when the body’s temperate gets too high and it is unable to cool itself down. It can cause organ failure and lead to death.

We all love our furry pals and want to do our best to keep them comfortable and safe. Dr. Johnson recommends keeping your dog inside on extremely hot days and seeking shade when you do go out. Always be sure to have lots of fresh cold water available too!

While all dogs can get to heat stoke, there are a few particularly susceptible breeds. Pay extra attention to young and old dogs, obese dogs, those with long or thick coats, as well as squish face dogs like Frenchies and pugs.

Had a big day out? Keep your eyes out for excessive panting, gum discoloration, vomiting and diarrhea, change in attitude or demeanour and seizures. Dr. Johnson suggests trying the refill test to check on their gums. Press a finger on your dog’s gums and if they stay white for more than 2 to 3 seconds, you may want to contact your veterinarian.

If you’re trying to mitigate symptoms or are waiting to see the vet, there are a few things you can do. Make sure you have cold water available for your pup. Seek out shade and keep your dog cool. Go inside if possible and ensure you have adequate air circulation such as air conditioning and fans. Spray down your dog using cool, not cold water.

If you think your dog may have heatstroke, always contact your veterinarian.

Watch the video to hear it from Dr. Amy Johnson herself!

This series is presented by Fairfield Animal Hospital and the Interior Pet Health Group.

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