Signs to watch for heat related illnesses in pets

By Laura Wibbenmeyer - bio | email

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Heat related illnesses in pets have spiked over the last couple of weeks.

Veterinarian Brett Ward with the Animal Emergency Center says heat and emergencies go hand in hand.

"Since the heat really started you can really tell that the case load has picked up," said Ward.

Dr. Ward says with urgent medical treatment, some animals are able to pull through heat related diseases.  However, he says 30 to 40 percent of them don't survive.

"The rate is pretty high because of people not knowing what to look for," said Ward.

Ward says to watch for excessive drooling or panting.  Other things to watch for are vomiting after time outdoors, bloody stool and severe weakness.

Dog owner Sherry Jennings says she always takes extra precautions for her dogs in the heat, but even she had a scare recently with her Beagle mix, Murphy.

"He seemed fine in the car," said Jennings, "We got him outside to walk around and within five minutes he was looking like he was over heated.  He was seeking out shade himself and his tongue was hanging out of the side of his mouth."

Jennings says she acted quickly but didn't know if it was quick enough because the whole day he was acting lethargic.  After a call to the Animal Emergency Center and close monitoring, today Murphy is back to his normal self.  Dr. Ward says if you find yourself in a similar situation, cool water is a must.

"I wouldn't us anything cold, freezing or ice, just cooler water and wet their hair down," said Ward.

Dr. Ward says long hair breeds are more likely to become overheated.  He also says short nosed and flat faced breeds are easily affected by the heat.  He says keeping your pets in the A. C. is the best thing to do and if they must be outside make sure they have plenty of water, shade and a short coat.

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