Detroit isn't exactly Death Valley, but it can and does get hot here in the summer months. If your dog spends a significant part of his day outdoors, he could be at risk for a dangerous condition called hyperthermia. Heat exhaustion can cause serious illness, while its natural end stage, heat stroke, can be fatal. Our veterinarian here at West Warren Veterinary Hospital, Dr. Sahota, can help you protect your best friend from these catastrophic outcomes through prompt treatment and valuable home care advice.
Degrees and Symptoms of Hyperthermia
Dogs are less well-equipped than humans to avoid overheating. That's because they only have sweat glands in their nose and footpads, instead of all over the body. Panting can give some relief by cooling the incoming air, but it's limited in its ability to keep your dog's core temperature under control. Short-nosed (brachycephalic) dogs are at a special disadvantage due to the shorter muzzle, which limits cooling even more.
When your dog is deprived of adequate shade and water on a hot summer day, he may begin showing signs of heat exhaustion such as excessive panting, vomiting and confusion. This is your cue to get your pet out of the heat and provide him with cool water immediately. If heat exhaustion is allowed to progress, your pet may also exhibit the classic signs of heat stroke -- bright red gums and tongue, staggering, fainting, seizures, diarrhea and rapid heartbeat. This means you need to wrap your pet loosely in a cool, damp towel and bring him to West Warren Veterinary Hospital immediately for emergency treatment.
Treatments and Safeguards That Can Save Your Dog's Life
If your pet is overheating, rest assured that we will do everything in our power to restore his body temperature to normal as quickly as possible. Our Detroit veterinarian can administer such lifesaving measures as oxygen therapy, intravenous fluid replacement, hospitalization, and possibly even a tracheal procedure if your dog is struggling for breath. We can also advise you on smart practices for preventing hyperthermia, not just during the summer but all year round. Your dog will no doubt benefit from strategies such as never leaving him in a sealed car, providing him with a ready supply of water (or even ice chips), and setting up a doghouse, tent or other form of shelter from the sun. You may also want limit his outdoor activity levels and/or thin out an excessively thick coat with a fashionable, comfortable trim.
Rely on West Warren Veterinary Hospital to Help Your Dog This Summer
When the mercury rises in Detroit, it's great to know your dog has friends here at West Warren Veterinary Hospital, especially since we're also offering free consultation for new patients. Call (313) 274-2330 to enlist our services to help your pet survive and thrive this summer -- and every summer for many years to come!