Emergency conditions

Heatstroke in dogs and cats

Overheating in dogs and cats in warm weather is not uncommon, especially in urban areas. Due to the more difficult control of thermoregulation and the fact that they are not able to cool down by sweating, they are more endangered than us when it comes to overheating. Animals often cannot be sheltered in an adequate place to cool down, but they can also be exposed to direct sunlight or high temperatures without human care without the possibility of adequate shelter (leaving in the car in the sun, tying in places directly exposed to sunlight).

Injured dog

Heatstroke that occurs in dogs and cats as a consequence of overheating leads to an increase in body temperature to a level at which significant damage to organs occurs, organ failure, and even possible death.

Animals that are more prone to overheating are obese individuals, brachiocephalic breeds of dogs and cats (English and French bulldogs, pugs, Persian cats), dogs and cats with long and lush fur, old and very young individuals, animals with existing systemic diseases (cardiovascular diseases). , respiratory diseases).

In addition to markedly high outside temperatures, heatstroke can also be caused by pronounced physical activity in warmer weather, as well as leaving in warm and humid rooms.

Clinical symptoms that are important for the owner to recognize are rapid breathing, agitation, increased salivation, pronounced redness of the gums and tongue, rapid pulse, vomiting and/or diarrhea. As the disease progresses, lethargy, confusion, weakness and collapse, and seizures may occur.

If you think that your animal has a heat stroke and is exposed to overheating, you need to remove it from the sun and from a warm room somewhere in the shade or in a colder room, to apply a lowering of body temperature with a small amount of lukewarm water (not particularly cold water or ice), you can use a wet towel, but change it every 5 minutes. Offer a small amount of lukewarm water. Be sure to contact your veterinarian and consult for further steps, as well as whether and what treatment is needed next.