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Drs. Stephanie Morgan and Heather Moeser
Downtown Mobile Vet – 919-917-8312 – www.downtownmobilevet.com
Exercise is good for you and your pets. However, have you ever decided to take a run mid day during the summer time? After recently making that choice in this hot weather, I am still feeling the effects of it. I felt dizzy, and I couldn’t catch my breath, but it seemed like such a beautiful sunny day and I am a regular runner. It reminded me that although exercising on a beautiful day is usually good, it could also be dangerous, especially for your pets. Make sure you assess the weather before you exercise your pet to avoid hyperthermia and heat stroke in your pet, potentially life threatening diseases. There are 3 common clinical signs to look for and 3 things that you can do if you suspect your pet to have an elevated body temp or heat stroke.
Common causes of hyperthermia (body temp > 103 °F) and heat stroke (body temp > 106 °F) are environmental conditions or situations including hot humid day, mistakenly being confined to an area with limited ventilation (i.e. NO CAR RIDES) or too much exercise and decreased water access.
Other clinical signs include bloody diarrhea, seizures, and death.
If you have done your best to avoid the causes of hyperthermia and heat stroke and you feel your pet is showing some of these signs then there are some actions that can be done in your home for mild cases. Please recognize that Moderate to Severe cases need to go to the veterinarian immediately for intravenous fluids and medications.
COMMON ACTIONS YOU CAN TAKE IF YOU SUSPECT HYPERTHERMIA
If you have any questions how your pet is responding or if the initial steps are not helping then you will need to bring your pet to the veterinarian immediately for advanced diagnostics and possibly hospitalization. Summer weather is great; we just need to be careful when we enjoy it. Heat stroke is a serious diagnosis and can quickly lead to irreversible changes in your pet’s health including death.