(PRWEB) July 15, 2014
It’s hard to beat the heat this time of year even with easy access to air conditioning, icy drinks and refreshing swimming pools. Imagine how dogs and cats feel in the sweltering summer when they’re dependent on people for protection from the high temperatures and the sun’s sizzling rays.
“Heat stroke can occur when an animal’s temperature rises to a critical level,” said Dr. Michael Dix, medical director for Best Friends Animal Society. “Normal body temperatures for dogs and cats range from 100 to 102.5 degrees. When a dog’s temperature rises to 108 degrees, or a cat’s to 106 degrees, they can suffer irreparable organ damage and even die.”
According to Dix, signs of heat stroke include heavy panting that does not resolve as the pet rests, increasing distress, a tongue color that is dark red to almost purple, weakness or collapse, hyper-salivation, vomiting and labored breathing.
If it appears a dog or cat might be suffering from heat stroke he should be moved to a cooler environment immediately and cool water should be applied to the abdomen, ears and footpads. It's not safe to pour ice water over the whole animal, submerge him in a tub of cold water or cover him in a cold, wet blanket. Once he is stable, he should be taken to a vet as quickly as possible, even if he seems to be cooling down and his temperature seems normal. Things may be happening on the inside that are not obvious from the outside.
A variety of situations like the extreme heat of a parked car, going for mid-day walks or simply being in a yard with no shade can contribute to an animal overheating. Best Friends Animal Society recommends taking a few simple precautions to keep dogs and cats healthy and comfortable as the mercury rises.
A little empathy goes a long way in protecting pets from extreme weather. If it’s too hot for people to stay comfortable in the car, in the yard, or on a walk, it’s even hotter for our furry friends.
Editorial note: Best Friends conducted a recent experiment on a 95 degree day, and discovered that the temperature inside a car--with windows down a few inches—increased from 69 to 140 degrees in 10 minutes. The social media package is available here: http://youtu.be/XzHKRNjCp-o
About Best Friends Animal Society®
Best Friends Animal Society is a national animal welfare organization focused on ending the killing of dogs and cats in America's shelters. An authority and leader in the no-kill movement, Best Friends runs the nation's largest no-kill sanctuary for companion animals, as well as lifesaving programs in partnership with rescue groups and shelters across the country. Since its founding in 1984, Best Friends has helped reduce the number of animals killed in shelters nationwide from 17 million per year to about 4 million. Best Friends has the knowledge, technical expertise and on-the-ground network to end the killing and Save Them All®.
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