The Manningham Leader recently came into our clinic to interview our practice manager Eva on the dangers of heat exhaustion. Nurse Jess’ dog Crystal also got to star on the front-page of the newspaper!
This summer we have had some exceptionally hot days and as a result we have seen multiple cases of heat exhaustion in the clinic. Two cases of heat exhaustion had occurred from being left inside cars, which unfortunately ended fatally for one dog that was rushed into the clinic but was unable to be revived. One of the main points Eva wanted to get across when interviewed is that dogs can die within six minutes of being left in a car even with the windows wound down, as was the case with the dog that passed away.
Unlike humans, dogs cannot sweat to cool down. If they get too hot, their internal body temperature can increase to dangerous levels, causing dehydration and heat stroke and if left untreated can be fatal within a matter of minutes. Symptoms of heatstroke include body temperature above 40 degrees, distress, panting, excessive salivation, blush-purple or bright red gums (due to inadequate oxygen supply).
Immediate vet attention should be sought if your animal displays these signs and attempt to lower their body temperature by using water to tip over them or dampening a towel to drape over their body and offer water for them to drink. It is important to be mindful of our pets over summer, always supply adequate shade and water and never leave an animal unattended in a car, even with the windows down.