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Heat Stroke in Dogs/Cats

Heat stroke is a condition arising from extremely high body temperature,
which leads to nervous system abnormalities (such as lethargy,
weakness, collapse or coma). Abnormally high body temperature
(also called hyperthermia) develops after increased muscular activity
with impaired ability to give off heat due to high heat and humidity or
respiratory obstruction. Heat-related illnesses, including heat stroke, heat
exhaustion and heat cramps can occur after exposure to extremely high
environmental temperatures. These illnesses occur in all mammals and
can be prevented by taking proper precautions.
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If your pet exhibits any of these signs, treat it as an emergency and call your veterinarian
immediately. On the way to your veterinary hospital, you can cool your pet with wet towels,
spray with cool water from a hose or by providing ice chips for your pet to chew
(providing he is conscious).

• Rapid panting
• Bright red tongue
• Red or pale gums
• Thick, sticky saliva
• Depression
• Weakness
• Dizziness
• Vomiting - sometimes with blood
• Diarrhea
• Shock
• Coma
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• Monitor outdoor temperature and minimize your pet's activity on hot, humid days.
• Remove the pet from the hot area immediately.
• Limit sun exposure during the hours of 11 AM to 3 PM on hot days.
• Walk or exercise your pet in the morning or evening.
• Keep your pet in a comfortable environment (air-conditioned room or partially open.
• Windows with a breeze) during extremely hot weather.
• NEVER leave your pet in a car (even with the windows partially rolled down) for any reason at any time.
Leaving pets in a car during warm weather is the most common cause of heat stroke.
• Provide your pet with plenty of fresh water and plenty of
shade. Take extra care with puppies and kittens.
• If possible, allow your pet to acclimate gradually to high
temperatures. Heat illness is common in the spring when the
animal has not had sufficient time to acclimate to the warmer
• After traveling to a warmer climate, allow your pet several
days to become acclimated before allowing any vigorous exercise.
• Make sure outside cats have access to shade.
• Allow your cat to have access to cooler areas of the house.
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