By Tony Hawkins, DVM, Valley Vet Supply Technical Service Veterinarian
Heat can have a devastating impact on our animals – it’s something that, in a clinic setting, I have seen first-hand.
All animals outdoors in the heat – whether large or small – require shade, continuous access to fresh water, and air movement and ventilation. These basic concepts are of course the same principles that apply to us. With this in mind, this three-part series will cover heat stress in dogs, horses and cattle with specific considerations for each.
Dogs are not proficient sweaters, making them more prone to overheating. They release their heat through panting. Because of that, they're a little more prone to overheating than people are. There are some groups of dogs that are more at risk than others, like brachycephalic (flat-faced) breeds. Due to their muzzle’s shape, their risk could be nearly double for heat stroke, as they are not as efficient at panting and releasing heat. Additionally, overweight, older or out-of-shape dogs – or dogs with conditions such as heart disease or lung and airway disorders – may be at greater risk.
Know the Signs of Heat Stress
Dogs suffering from heat stress may demonstrate excessive panting, difficulty breathing, vomiting and diarrhea. More serious and progressive symptoms include lethargy, collapse, stumbling and seizures. When it progresses to this point, it is critical that your dog receive veterinary care. It can be pretty tough to get these cases treated, and every minute matters.
Tips for Keeping Your Dogs Safe
How to Treat Heat Stress in Dogs
I hope this information will help you keep your dogs safe, as we round out the warmest months of the year. Read Part 2, Horse Safety During Hot Weather and Part 3, Managing Cattle in Warm Weather. Visit ValleyVet.com to learn more.
About the author: Valley Vet Supply Technical Service Veterinarian, Tony Hawkins, DVM, attended Kansas State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, where he placed focus on mixed-animal practice. Before joining the Technical Service veterinarian team at Valley Vet Supply, Dr. Hawkins practiced veterinary medicine in Marysville, Kansas, where he was greatly involved in cattle health, including processing, obstetrical work, and servicing the local sale barn. He also is treasured by the community for his care of horses and pets, through wellness appointments and surgery.
About Valley Vet Supply
Valley Vet Supply was founded in 1985 by veterinarians to provide customers with the very best animal health solutions. Building on over half a century of experience in veterinary medicine, Valley Vet Supply serves equine, pet and livestock owners with thousands of products and medications hand-selected by Valley Vet Supply Technical Service veterinarians and team of industry professionals. With an in-house pharmacy that is licensed in all 50 states, and verified through the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP), Valley Vet Supply is the dedicated source for all things horse, livestock and pet. For more information, please visit ValleyVet.com.
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