SIGNS OF HEATSTROKE IN PETS
- Excessive thirst
- Heavy panting
- Lack of appetite
- Dark tongue
- Rapid heartbeat
- Lack of coordination
If your animals shows any of these symptoms:
- Get her or him into the shade immediately
- Call your veterinarian
- Lower the animal’s body temperature gradually by providing water to drink, applying a cold towel or ice pack to the head, neck, and chest, or immersing the dog in lukewarm (not cold) water.
Small children and elderly neighbors aren’t the only ones to keep an eye on during times of extreme heat. The summer months can be just as dangerous for animals as it can be for people, according to local officials from the Humane Association of Warren County.
During the hot and humid summer months, as many as 12 dogs are brought to the Humane Association of Warren County for medical treatment of heat-related issues, according to officials.
Tethered black dogs are the most vulnerable because of the color of their fur, according to Marna Young, Director of Development for the Humane Association of Warren County.
“Tethering dogs is something that should not happen. All of us are hoping to eliminate people tying their dogs up for extended periods of time,” she said.
Cats are vulnerable, too, “especially when people transport them in small carriers with little ventilation and leave them in overheated places even for just a few minutes,” Young said.
Visitors at the Lebanon animal shelter are greeted with a large sign warning pet owners about the dangers of leaving their dog or cat in a hot car.
“It’s the biggest problem … even with the windows cracked, even with the windows open,” Young said. “People think, ‘I’m just going to run in for four minutes,’ but four to five minutes can make a huge difference for a dog to be in a dangerous medical situation.”
Leaving pets in a hot car can be deadly, young said. “They can’t pant, or breathe and they may collapse They can actually die or get brain damage.”
She encourages pet owners to just leave their pets at home during scorching summer days.
Experts also advise owners to trim furs, always provide water and limit the amount of time exercising with their dogs.
“The difficulty for a dog in heat is walking for long distances is much more difficult for them,” Young said. She advises owners reduce the amount of exercise with their dogs by 60 percent.
Deane Wiethe, of Lebanon, was walking his dog Bernice on Monday afternoon. He said his St. Bernard was only out walking with him for less than five minutes but was already hot.
“Her tail is down because she’s hot,” Wiethe said.
He said he pays attention on hot days for signs the animals may be suffering from heat exhaustion. “When she’s ready to go home she turns around,” Wiethe said.
Asked how he keeps her cool, Wiethe smiled and said Bernice just “sleeps a lot right in front of a couch” in the air conditioned house.