Can you believe it’s going to be in the 90s this week in Lakeville, MN? As we all prepare for this heat wave, it’s also important to get your pet ready for the heat. The heat of summer can be dangerous for dogs. Here’s what you need to know to keep your pup safe as the temperatures rise.
What to do in an emergency? We’ve got you covered.
We have a veterinarian and medical support staff on duty Monday through Friday to be able to offer emergency care if your pet needs it. Saturdays we are minimally staffed and recommend if a true emergency you go straight to South Metro Animal Emergency Care in Apple Valley (952) 953-3737. Emergencies are situations such as rodent bait poisoning, hit by car, traumatic injury or chocolate ingestion, to name a few. If you feel you have an emergency with your pet, please call us or come to the hospital immediately. Whenever possible, it is best to call before coming in so we can advise you on your particular emergency. This will also allow us to prepare properly to be able to more quickly respond to your pet’s particular needs.
We are also available for urgent care when the condition is non-life-threatening and/or when you feel your pet needs to be seen before a normal appointment is available. Our staff will attempt to find a time in between scheduled appointments and options will be limited. There will be a higher examination fee for this as it puts a strain on other scheduled appointments. Examples of non-life-threatening / urgent care situations are ear infections, bladder infection, limping, etc. (All should be treated sooner rather than later, and we will do our best to accommodate your pet) Your pet will be assessed by a CVT immediately and a veterinarian as soon as possible.
Here’s what you need to know about heat stroke:
#1: Dogs can’t adequately cool themselves through sweating.
Dogs are unable to adequately cool their body temperature through sweating. Instead, they will attempt to cool themselves by panting. When a dog is left in a hot environment for too long, her body temperature rises, and heat exhaustion or heat stroke can occur.
#2: Heatstroke can often be blamed on a dog owner’s actions.
Heatstroke in dogs commonly occurs when owners leave their dogs alone in vehicles and when dogs are left outdoors without access to shade and/or cool water.
#3: Certain types of dogs are more susceptible to heatstroke.
Some dogs are prone to developing heatstroke, including:
- Overweight or obese dogs
- Senior dogs
- Brachycephalic breeds—“flat-faced” dogs, like bulldogs, pugs, and boxers
- Dogs with thick fur
- Dogs suffering from medical conditions, including laryngeal paralysis
#4: Dogs will show signs of heatstroke.
Dogs suffering from heatstroke may exhibit:
- Excessive panting and/or drooling
- Reddened gums
#5: You can help a dog suffering from heatstroke.
If you notice signs of heatstroke in your dog, it is imperative that you take immediate action by following these steps:
- Remove your dog from the hot environment.
- Take your dog’s temperature. The temperature of a pet experiencing heat exhaustion will be over 103 degrees Fahrenheit. A temperature of over 106 degrees Fahrenheit can indicate heatstroke.
- Using a spray bottle or wet towels, apply cool (not ice-cold) water to your pet’s fur, focusing on the areas around the neck, armpits, and abdomen.
- Put your dog in your air-conditioned car and bring her to our office. Call us on the way so we can prepare for your visit.
#6: Veterinary care is necessary when a dog experiences heatstroke.
Even if your dog appears to recover after being cooled, heatstroke can cause brain swelling, kidney failure, intestinal bleeding, changes in blood pressure, electrolyte imbalances, and abnormal blood clotting, so seek veterinary care immediately. Our team may recommend intravenous fluids, and we’ll monitor your dog for signs of these secondary complications.
Have questions? Do not hesitate to contact us. If your pet has experienced a heat-related issue, please call us at 952-892-7970 immediately.