If you think you get hot in the summer, think how it must feel to go through the hotter months wearing a fur coat. Heat stroke is a major concern for pets as well as people. Symptoms include excessive panting and lethargy in both dogs and cats. If not caught early enough, heat stroke can cause metabolic changes that lead to death.
If you think your pet has heat stroke, use cool water (not ice water) to hose him down, get into the shade and call your vet.
If you are able to take your pet’s rectal temperature, do so. Body temperature higher than 102.6°F is considered a fever, and a temperature over 105°F can cause metabolic and brain damage. Being able to relay your pet’s temperature to the veterinarian will help him or her decide if your pet needs medical attention.
As is usual, we advocate that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
— Thanks to Bill Barboni, DMV, of Marin Pet Hospital for this advice. Read the full text and tips for preventing heat stroke here.
Story posted 4/26/12