Warning Signs of Heat Exhaustion For Your Pets

Oak Hill, WV (WOAY-TV): A brief, but intense heat wave will trigger our first 90-degree temperatures later this week, so what are the warning signs your pet is suffering from heat stress?

Chief Meteorologist Chad Merrill had an elaborate interview with Dr. Mindy Osborne, owner and veterinarian of the Oak Hill Hospital:

Chief Meteorologist Chad Merrill’s latest forecast:

Below is the text version of the question and answer interview:

What is the busiest time of the year for your facility? By far, it’s the summertime. The kids are out of school. We’ve got a lot of hot weather. People are coming in and getting vaccinated. Animals get hurt being outside more often, hit by cars, things like that.

Do you tend to see an influx of patients during the heat? Absolutely. So they come in because of heat stress or heat stroke, they can’t breathe and get the extra air in their lungs because they’re overheated.

Does the humidity affect pets like it affects humans? Absolutely. The higher the humidity, the harder it is for cats and dogs to control their temperature.

What are the signs that your pet might be suffering from a heat stroke or even heat exhaustion? Excessive panting, blue tongues, noises when they breathe called starter, laying down, not wanting to get up and move.

What advice would you give to folks even before we hit this real hot weather late this week? What we want to do is make sure that we’re only taking these animals outside during the cooler time of day. So if you’re doing hikes or walking, go early in the morning or late evening, avoid midday. Try to keep these animals in the shade as much as possible. Plenty of water available if you’re out and about.

If you’re concerned your animals are starting to develop heat stroke, the number one thing is get them to water, cool them down and actually put water on them to try to pull their body temperature down a little bit before you get them over to the hospital. Stop the exercise. Get them inside. Get them. Cool them off. Take them into the air conditioning, get them in the shade.

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