We love spending time outdoors with our pets, especially when the weather is nice. Our veterinarians at Town & Country Animal Hospital in Ocala, FL, want to remind you that dehydration and heat stroke are two very common problems we often see concerning pets. It is important for you to understand what signs to look for that indicate your pet may be in danger. Read on to find out what these signs are and what you can do to help prevent a day in the sun from becoming a tragedy.
The Signs of Dehydration
Ocala, FL can get pretty hot. Wherever you are spending your days, whether at home in your backyard or out and about, if you have your dog with you, you will want to keep him hydrated at all times. A dog's body is approximately 90 percent water and after panting to cool himself in the hot sun, he can quickly lose the ten percent that can cause dehydration, which can start shutting his internal organs down. The signs of dehydration include sunken eyes, sticky gums, and skin that doesn't snap back. There is also a decreased need to urinate. Get your pet to a shady spot and see that he drinks water to revive himself.
The Signs of Heat Stroke
Dehydration can cause heatstroke. This is a state where your dog can't regulate his body temperature and he begins to burn up inside. It is an emergency situation. Signs to watch out for include:
- Excessive panting
- Bright red tongue
- Looking spaced out
You need to move your pet to a cool spot immediately and provide him with water. Make sure he drinks slowly, so he can keep it down. Keep massaging his legs to help with blood circulation and monitor his temperature. Get him to a vet as soon as possible.
Preventing Dehydration and Heatstroke
You can do a lot toward preventing these issues by following some simple rules:
- Exercise in the early morning or evening, never between ten and two.
- Carry extra water for your pet with you at all times.
- Don't leave your pet in a vehicle.
- Keep in the shade as much as possible.
Visit Our Ocala Veterinarians
We love to see you and your pets at Town & Country Animal Hospital in Ocala, but our veterinarians would rather the visit was a simple wellness checkup and not the result of an emergency like heat stroke. This is a friendly reminder that prevention is so much better than treatment. We are here if you need us. Get to know our veterinarians and our staff by calling us at (352) 840-7020.