Watch Tip: Cooling Overheated Pets

Posted on July 5th, 2011 by Anna Nirva


Learn how to recognize and early-treat heatstroke in dogs and cats, so you can improve the odds if your pet gets heatstroke, a frequent killer. Heatstroke requires immediate action to reduce body temperature followed by urgent veterinary treatment. Learn symptoms and treatments to reduce body temperature. Remember, prevention is the best cure. On warm days, prevent exertion and never leave your pet in a vehicle. It is a truly dangerous myth that cracking a window open will prevent heat stroke.

What should you look for? What should you do?

Your dog or cat could be suffering from heatstroke if you observe

  • rapid panting
  • drooling, foamy mouth
  • swollen tongue
  • uncoordinated movements, wobbly walking
  • anxiety
  • diarrhea
  • hot ears, top of head, legs, paws.

EMERGENCY: take immediate action or your dog or cat could die. First, if your pet is conscious and alert, responding to your words, start cooling where you are. Cool the your pet with cool, continuously flowing air or water that draws heat out of the body. (Attempting to cool your pet by laying him or her in a pool of cool unmoving water might actually make your pet worse by causing the surface blood vessels to constrict, shunting heat back to the body’s core!)┬áDon’t forget to cool ears, head, paw pads, feet, and legs, anywhere blood flow is nearer the skin. Read the rest of this entry »