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Heat Stroke in Pets

 

WHAT IS IT?

Elevated body temperature >41 C (106 F) and increased respiratory effort,without signs of infection or inflammation.

Normal body temperature for a dog is 38.0 – 39.0 C (100.4 – 102.2 F)

 

HOW DOES IT HAPPEN?

Heat dissipating mechanisms (evaporation from the surface of the tongue and panting) cannot keep pace with the dog’s increasing body temperature.

 

WHY DOES IT HAPPEN?

There are a number of factors which contribute to heat stroke.  The most obvious is very high temperatures and humidity.  Combining these kinds of temperatures with exercise, especially in direct sun, can lead to heat stroke.  Any breed can suffer heat stroke under warm conditions and over-exertion.  Certain breed types, however, are more prone due to their respiratory anatomy.  Any breed with a “pushed-in-nose” anatomy is susceptible (good examples are Pugs, British Bulldogs and Boxers).  Other breeds may have narrow airways and/or a muscular oral cavity (Staffordshire, Pitbulls, Bull Terriers) which can significantly decrease air flow.  Older dogs may have medical problems which can reduce the efficiency of their cooling effort.  Once the dog starts to panic, and breathing becomes more forced, the mucous membranes become swollen and saliva thickens, worsening the situation.  Eventually body temperature starts to rise well beyond the high end of normal

 

IS IT SERIOUS?

Yes, it can be life threatening. The goal is to cool them quickly.  A combination of wetting/submerging the dog in SHALLOW cool water (or using soaking-wet towels) and fans to increase evaporative cooling is often employed.  It is important NOT TO USE ICE as this may cause constriction of blood vessels in the skin, which will then decrease the efficiency of the cooling process.  If the dog is in very rough shape, then it will need to be attended to by a veterinarian, as intravenous fluids and shock medication may need to be given, and more aggressive cooling methods may be required.

 

HOW TO PREVENT IT?

Common sense goes a long way with heat stroke.  Having an older dog, those with respiratory disease or having a breed with anatomy as mentioned above should make the owner consider walking the dog at cooler times of the day, (dusk and dawn) and utilize air conditioning as much as possible.  If the dog is outside, provide shade and use a kiddie-pool with a little water in it to provide a heat sink for the dog (again, in the shade).  Access to fresh water for drinking should always be provided.  If signs of heat stroke/distress develop then immediate action should be taken, and the dog brought to the veterinarian for a check-over.

by Dr. Stephen Longridge

 

 

 

 

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Last updated: June 1, 2020

Dear Clients,

With recent changes to restrictions on businesses, we are pleased to advise that effective May 15, 2020 some restrictions on veterinary practices have been lifted. Based on these changes, below are some important updates to our operating policies.

1. WE CAN NOW SEE ALL CASES BY APPOINTMENT ONLY

This includes vaccines, wellness exams, blood work, heartworm testing, spays and neuters, dental services, and more!

2. SAFETY MEASURES TO KEEP EVERYONE SAFE

3. ONLINE CONSULTATIONS ARE AVAILABLE

If you wish to connect with a veterinarian via message, phone or video, visit our website and follow the "Online Consultation" link.

4. NEW PET OWNERS

Have you welcomed a new furry family member to your home? We’d love to meet them! Visit our Must Know New Pet Owner Information page for useful resources and helpful recommendations for new pet owners.

5. OPERATING HOURS

We are OPEN with the following hours:

Monday to Friday: 7:00 am - 7:00 pm
Saturday & Sunday: 9:00 am - 3:00 pm

6. GROOMING SERVICES

If your pet requires grooming, please give us a call and we will put your name on a list. Our groomer Stephanie will contact you directly to schedule an appointment.

7. COUNTRY TAILS DOGGIE DAYCARE

As of Tuesday, May 19, 2020, Country Tails Doggie Daycare is open! Their temporary hours of operation are 8:00 am - 6:00 pm. You may get touch with one of our daycare team members at (905) 690-8005 or at countrytails@clappisonvet.com

Thank you for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members again!

- Your dedicated team at Clappison Animal Hospital