Heatstroke is a serious problem for our pets and can even be fatal. Find out the signs to look out for and how to avoid it.
Imagine it's a hot, sunny day and you've got a warm coat on. It would be difficult to keep yourself cool and comfortable. This is what summer weather can feel like for our pets. It's easy for them to overheat and start suffering from heatstroke.
But what is heatstroke? How does it affect our pets and what can you do if they overheat?
What is heatstroke?
Heatstroke is a serious illness which happens when your pet overheats and their body temperature rises. It’s an emergency situation and needs treatment right away. Without first aid, pets will first become uncomfortable and distressed, then their organs could start to shut down. It can even be fatal to leave them.
Our pet’s small size and furry coats means they can’t cool down as easily as we can. Dogs and cats can’t sweat and have to pant to try and control their temperature. Small pets like rabbits and guinea pigs can overheat easily. Some pets are more likely to suffer from overheating:
- Flat-faced breeds like Pugs, Bulldogs, Shih Tzus, Persian cats, and Netherland dwarf of Lionhead rabbits.
- Pets with very thick fur.
- Old or very young pets.
- Overweight pets.
- Pets with breathing or lung problems.
The signs of heatstroke are different for different species so it’s important to be aware of the symptoms to look out for in your pet.
Signs of heatstroke in dogs and cats
- panting heavily
- appearing to be upset or distressed
- dribbling more than usual
- foaming at the mouth
- bright red gums
- collapsing or not being able to stand up
- blood coming from the mouth or nose
- tremors or seizures.
Signs of heatstroke in rabbits, guinea pigs and small pets
- taking short, quick breaths
- acting very sleepy or lethargic
- falling unconscious or having fits.