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Everybody loves a warm, sunny day, including pets. But, if your pet has insufficient access to cool water, he may suffer the devastating effects of heatstroke. It's critical to know the signs of pet heatstroke and have access to a veterinary clinic that can handle the condition. That's why it's a relief to know that Radford Animal Hospital in Radford, VA can provide pet hydration and heatstroke treatment on those frightening occasions.
Did you know that water makes up the majority of your pet's body mass? Water is critical for maintaining a variety of essential physical functions in your pet's body, from organ function to core temperature control. That's why you always want to provide your best friend with plenty of water at temperatures cool enough to drink. Unfortunately, summer temperatures challenge your pet's internal cooling system, forcing him to pant. The more he pants, the more water he loses. If he can't replenish his water stores, the more dehydrated he becomes. Severe dehydration can lead to organ failure.
Heatstroke occurs when your pet loses his ability to keep his body temperature under control. Dehydration is a key element in this, as is direct exposure to heat and sunlight. Lack of shade, lack of water, and being locked in a hot car are all sure paths to overheating. If your pet's temperature rises above 103 degrees, he may start experiencing heatstroke.
If your pet is clearly sick, disoriented, or unconscious due to probably heatstroke, you must bring him to Radford Animal Hospital for emergency treatment by our veterinarian. First, however, you need to call us, describe your pet's symptoms, and let us advise you on emergency first aid strategies. For instance, we may tell you to wrap your pet loosely in cool, damp towels before bundling him into the car and coming to our clinic. We can then provide hydration and other techniques to lower your pet's temperature.
Always be on the lookout for signs of pet dehydration, especially when your pet is outdoors in the heat. Common symptoms include lethargy, excessive panting, sunken eyes, loss of appetite, racing heart, and loss of "springiness" in the skin. Signs of heatstroke include drooling, red gums, vomiting blood, mental confusion, seizures, staggering, and loss of consciousness.
Even when you provide shelter and water for your pet, dehydration, and heatstroke are still possibilities. If your pet is in trouble, call Radford Animal Hospital immediately at (540) 639-3891!