Summer has arrived and we have seen how quickly Chicago and the suburbs can heat up!
Early summer is the time when we see the most cases of heatstroke in our dogs and cats. They need special attention at this time of year and now is a good time to review the dangers of heatstroke and how best to prevent it.
What is heatstroke?
Heatstroke, heat exhaustion, or hyperthermia occurs when internal heat cannot be expelled properly from the body and the internal body temperature begins to rise. We see this occur quickly on hot days. However, humidity and body conditioning play a significant role as well.
Cats and dogs can suffer from heatstroke.
Cats and dogs are both potential candidates for heatstroke.
The brachycephalic (short nosed) breeds, such as Himalayan and Persian cats, as well as bulldogs, pugs and Boston terrier dogs, to name a few, are far more susceptible to heat exhaustion and require even closer observation and care during the warmer months.
Heatstroke can develop quickly in as little as 15-20 minutes or it can gradually arise over the course of hours. Either way, it can progress rapidly once the temperature has elevated to cause extremely profound changes to the internal organs.
How do dogs and cats regulate their temperatures?
Dogs and cats are able to regulate their body heat through panting and evaporative cooling on their nose and foot pads. (more…)