During the summer, hot weather increases the chances of dehydration and heatstroke in your pet. If you suspect either of these problems in your cat or dog, call our veterinarians at Apple Tree Animal Clinic, serving Purcerville and Ranson. We're here to help you care for your pets during the emergencies of heatstroke or non-emergencies like regular checkups.
What Happens with Dehydration in Pets
Dehydration happens when your pet does not get enough fluids to replace those that it loses. Both cats and dogs need adequate hydration to stay healthy. If they don't get enough to drink, they can become dehydrated. Without correction, organ failure and death could result from severe dehydration.
The signs of dehydration in both cats and dogs include a failed skin test. To do this test at home, gently pull the skin on the back of your pet's neck. If your pet has adequate hydration, the skin will immediately snap back into place. However, if it stays extended, your pet has dehydration. Pale gums or those that do not turn red quickly after pressing on them may also indicate dehydration in both cats and dogs. Dehydration can prevent your pet from regulating its body temperature, leading to heatstroke, also called hyperthermia.
The Signs of Heatstroke in Pets
Heatstroke can happen when your pet has a fever or gets stuck in a hot location, such as a small laundry room with the dryer running. However, hot weather during the summer is most likely to cause heatstroke in cats and dogs, especially those that are active outside during the heat of the day.
Signs of heatstroke include:
- Heavy panting in dogs or any panting in cats
- Bright red gums, mouth, or tongue
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Rapid breathing and pulse
Heatstroke is a medical emergency for your pet and requires immediate attention.
What to Do for a Dehydrated or Overheated Pet
As soon as you identify dehydration or heatstroke symptoms in your pet, call our veterinarian immediately. Your pet needs prompt care, and depending on the severity of the symptoms, your pet could require emergency treatment at our clinic. If you have any doubts, bring your pet to our clinic during office hours or a local pet hospital that caters to after-hours emergencies. In the meantime, give your pet water and wrap the animal in towels soaked in cool water, to help bring your pet’s temperature down.
Get Immediate Treatment for Pet Dehydration & Heatstroke
If your pet has any signs of dehydration or heatstroke and you live in Ranson or Purcerville, call us today at Apple Tree Animal Clinic at (304) 725-8840. Your pet's life is at stake, and prompt emergency care could save it.