It gets hot here in Louisiana, and it’s important to protect you and your pets from some of the hottest days we’ll be dealing with over the summer. It’s important to know – if your pet becomes injured or sick outside our normal business hours, call us immediately at 337-364-2811. You’ll be connected to our sister practice, Lafayette Veterinary Care Center who remains open 24/7/365. They are located at 110 Perard Street, Lafayette, LA 70503, and can be reached directly by phone anytime at 337-984-7611. In fact, we are happy to make house calls. If you or your pet finds veterinary visits stressful or if you would simply prefer the convenience of a home visit, please call to arrange an appointment.
When your pet is overheated, they cannot exactly tell you that something is wrong. This is why it’s so important to know what to watch for on especially hot days. Animals who are beginning to overheat will typically attempt to find water, shade, or a cooler place to go. They might also begin panting and drooling and their footpads might sweat.
If the attempts to cool off are unsuccessful and the animal’s body temperature rises further, you might notice:
- Rapid breathing
- Redness of the tongue and mouth
You can get ahead of this, and help prevent your pet from feeling the effects of a heat stroke. Here are some tips:
- During the summer months, try to walk your dog during the morning or evening hours.
- Limit your pet’s time outside and be sure he has access to shade and fresh water at all times.
- Never leave a pet in a car with the windows closed. Even when the outdoor temperature is in the high 70s, the temperature inside a car can quickly rise to dangerous levels.
- Take extra precautions when humidity levels are high, which can increase the heat index.
- Also take extra precautions for brachycephalic dog breeds (short-nosed breeds), like bulldogs, pugs, boxers, and others. These breeds are more susceptible to heat stroke than longer-nosed breeds.
If your pet is experiencing a heat episode, it’s important to move quickly. Dogs and cats should be soaked in cool water, focusing on the back of the head and neck and being sure that no water gets into the nose or mouth. You can place an icepack or bag of frozen vegetables on the back of the head, too, and let the overheated animal drink as much water as he wants. Even if a pet has seemed to recover, heat stroke can lead to kidney failure, swelling of the brain, abnormal clotting of blood, and other dangerous conditions, so call our office immediately if you suspect your pet is overheated.
Most importantly – call us immediately at 337-364-2811 if your pet is experiencing a heat issue.