Heat stroke is a serious problem in pets, and it can come on very quickly under certain conditions. Being stuck in a hot car or playing vigorously on a hot day can cause your pet to overheat within a few minutes.
The first sign that a dog or cat is too hot is panting, but this alone doesn't mean that the heat level is dangerously high. Instead, take it as a sign that you should start watching closely for other evidence of heat-related distress.
Excess salivation, in the form of thick, ropey drool, is the next sign of overheating. It's a good idea to take active steps to cool your dog or cat at this point.
Weakness and collapse are signs of an emergency situation. Take immediate steps to cool your pet, including getting the animal wet and offering water. If air conditioning is immediately available, bring the pet into the cooled area. Seek help from an emergency veterinarian if your pet has collapsed.
In light-colored animals, the gums and tongue may become bright red. This is another sign of emergency levels of overheating.
As is often noted, it is essential to avoid leaving your cat or dog in the car during the daytime. Even if it is only 70 degrees outside and the car is in the shade, it takes just a half-hour for it to reach the triple digits inside the car while the sun is up. If it is hotter outside, that half-hour turns into minutes.
You should also take care to make sure that your pet doesn't play too vigorously in the heat. Wait until evening for long or hard play sessions. Also, if you know that there will be something exciting going on, like fireworks, put your pet in a room where the noise won't be as loud.
For more pet tips, give us a call here at Acres Mill Veterinary Clinic in Canton, GA. We'll be glad to help.