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Heatstroke (hyperthermia) is a very serious, life-threatening epidemic during the summer months. It occurs when your pet is unable to cool themselves. Since dogs and cats do not have sweat glands it is very difficult for them to lower their body temperature once it has increased.
Most pet owners do not recognize the symptoms of heatstroke until it is far into its developmental stages. Here are some symptoms to look for should you be concerned your pet has overheated:
- Temperature above 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit
- Rapid panting
- Bright red tongue
- Thick saliva
Most affects of heatstroke can be reversed if it is caught early enough. However, if it is left untreated your pet can experience long-term effects (heart failure, kidney failure, brain damage, etc.), even death.
If you notice any of these symptoms, call your veterinarian immediately. DO NOT apply very cold water to your pet, because the effects can be counterproductive. Your veterinarian will probably have you bring your pet into the clinic immediately, or guide you on what to do to safely bring your pets temperature down.
For more information on heatstroke you can call Mission Valley Veterinary Clinic at (510)797-2323.