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How to prevent heatstroke from four-legged friends and what to do if nevertheless it occurred

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Heat stroke they call a critical condition that develops if the animal overheats for some reason (when exposed to direct sunlight, being in a closed vehicle, due to increased physical exertion). Thus, body temperature rises above 40.5 ° C.

With the formation of excess heat, dogs and cats, like other warm-blooded animals, instinctively look for a cool place, go into the shade, try to flatten on a cold surface, thereby increasing the cooled surface. Nature arranged dogs and cats in such a way that, unlike humans, for example, they have very few sweat glands (they are mainly located on the paw pads and interdigital spaces). Therefore, in order to get rid of excess heat, animals often have to breathe - a large amount of heat is lost with exhaled air. The cardiovascular system also intensifies, the heart rate increases and the vessels of the skin and mucous membranes expand - this is how heat is transferred from the surface of the body.

If the body does not cope with the removal of excess heat, then it develops heatstroke. This occurs more often in brachiocephalic dog breeds with shortened faces (pugs, bulldogs, boxers, griffins). Also at risk pregnant, elderly animals, dogs and cats with excess weight, with diseases of the upper respiratory tract or lungs, pathologies of the cardiovascular system.


How to recognize that a pet has suffered a heat stroke?

If the owner sees frequent breathing, mucous membranes become bright red (normal pale pink), general lethargy is noted, it is known that the animal was in an indoor / vehicle - it becomes clear that it has overheated. It is worth recalling that similar symptoms are observed with other diseases that occur with an increase in body temperature (fever), such as infectious diseases, severe septic processes. Therefore, it is extremely important to find out where the animal was and in what conditions. Drug treatment and first aid will be completely different.


In general, when it comes to classification, hyperthermia is distinguished as

1) inadequate heat dissipation - what can be with heat stroke and hyperpyretic syndrome

2) hyperthermiadue to excessive physical exertion

3) pathological hyperthermia or pharmacological origin, which happens with a lesion in the anterior part of the hypothalamus or an area nearby, as well as with malignant hyperthermia.

With hyperthermia associated with exercise, body temperature rises even with slight physical exertion, it is physiological, and is associated with muscle work.

Hyperpyretic syndrome It occurs in animals exposed to physical exertion in a humid and hot climate or a similar room. This is due to the fact that with high humidity, self-cooling through shortness of breath is reduced to minimum values. In addition, heavy physical exertion causes skeletal muscles to become very blood-filled, in turn, peripheral vessels cannot expand so actively.

Pathological hyperthermia develops as a result of damage to the hypothalamus, endocrinopathies, such as hyperthyroidism, pheochromocytoma (increased production of thyroid hormones and more often a benign tumor located in one of the adrenal glands).

Pharmacological hyperthermia can be triggered by the use of inhalation agents, for example, halotane.

What does hyperthermia entail?

First of all, hypoxia - reduced oxygen saturation of organs and tissues, tachycardia (increased heart rate) and increased ventilation of the lungs. Brain suffers, with possible subsequent swelling, cramps and even coma. Acute renal and hepatic insufficiency may develop in connection with circulatory disorders, hyperkalemia, and DIC. Which in most cases ends very sadly.

First aid for sunstroke in dogs and cats.

What first aid can an owner provide on their own? Move the animal to a cool, shaded area. Shave off hair to facilitate heat transfer through the surface of the skin, wash the animal in a moderately cold bath (NOT ice!), Turn on the fan, or make sweeping movements with improvised means. Get frozen foods from the freezer, for example, packages with vegetables and berries, etc. and attach them to the neck, occipital region, axilla, groin area - where large vessels pass. This must be done by first wrapping the “ice” in some kind of fabric, preferably cotton, to avoid frostbite on the soft tissues.

It is necessary to control the temperature by rectal measurement (insertion of a thermometer into the rectum). As soon as the temperature drops to around 39.4, you should stop cooling the body. But, unfortunately, the owner often can not cope and provide adequate assistance. In this regard, it is recommended to deliver the four-legged friend to the veterinary clinic as soon as possible to provide adequate assistance!

In the conditions of the clinic and hospital, they will provide intravenous access and administration of cool saline solutions intravenously and rectally, in some cases - peritoneal dialysis, they will undergo oxygen therapy, they often use antipyretics and other symptomatic therapy (to reduce swelling of the upper respiratory tract and larynx and restore / maintain the work of others organs and systems).

Prevention of sunstroke in dogs and cats.

I would like to urge the owners to be reasonable: take walks in the cooler morning and evening hours in the hot season. Do not leave pets alone in tightly enclosed cars, carryings, apartments. It was found that in a closed car, standing in the sun, the air temperature in 15-20 minutes can rise to 48C!

Unfortunately, the statistics are disappointing - most of the patients who enter the clinics are those who were left in the car.

Love your pets and treat them like full-fledged family members, then such human stupidities will happen less and less.

Specialists of the veterinary city clinic "VetState" are always ready to help your pet in case of health problems. We are pleased to provide you with a full range of laboratory tests, receptions of both general practitioners and highly specialized doctors (by appointment). Ultrasound examination of the abdominal organs, measurement of blood pressure, oxygen therapy, etc.

We are glad to see you 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Without holidays and weekends from 10.00 to 21.00.

For more information you can contact by multi-channel telephone

The first signs of overheating in a dog

Dogs have such a wonderful ability, as getting rid of an excess of heat with the help of frequent breathing. In cats, this ability is less developed. If, after exertion or heat, the dog breathes hard and sticks out his tongue, then this is considered the norm. Dogs with flattened faces and northern breeds are more confirmed by the risk of being hit.

One must be very careful, as the signs of a stroke can easily be confused with fatigue. If you observe such symptoms:

  • no appetite,
  • sluggish dog
  • impaired coordination of movements,
  • salivation increased
  • high temperature (from 40),
  • uneven breathing with wheezing,
  • cramps, diarrhea, vomiting,
  • blurred gaze

then you must immediately provide first aid.

Signs of overheating in cats

Persian, pregnant, old cats, as well as those who are overweight, have problems with the upper respiratory tract, lungs, cardiovascular system, owners of the black color, there is a high risk of heat stroke.

If you suspect that there might have been a heat stroke, pay attention to whether such signs appeared:

  • very high temperature
  • cramps
  • diarrhea, vomiting,
  • shortness of breath
  • redness of the mucous membranes,
  • tachycardia,
  • foam spitting
  • weakness,
  • muscle twitching.

Of course, some symptoms, like fever, can be easily confused with other diseases. Care should be taken.

First aid for heat stroke

First of all, whatever the animal, it should be shown to the doctor.

What to do if a dog has a blow:

  • everything that is on it should be removed so that there is a calm breath,
  • take to a cool place
  • moisten the rag with cold water and wipe, but you should monitor the temperature drop, a sharp decline is also dangerous,
  • give water
  • make compresses on such parts of the body as the head, armpits, inner thighs.

Cats, unlike dogs, walk less often, but such situations do happen. If for dogs rapid breathing and protruding tongue is considered normal, then for a cat this is the first signal.

In the event of heat stroke in cats, help will be the same as in dogs.

  1. It is necessary to cool the animal, but only if you are sure that this is exactly heat stroke. With fever, for example, it is dangerous to cool an animal without the help of antipyretic drugs, and when overheated, antipyretic drugs are useless.
  2. Be sure to monitor the temperature. Too high a temperature (43 and above) brings negative effects on all organs. There may be a bleeding disorder.
  3. Cooling does not mean that the pet has recovered. The consequences may appear on the third day after the impact.

How to avoid heat stroke

Prevention of heat stroke in dogs is as follows:

  1. It is important to be vigilant.
  2. Taking a walk is advisable without a muzzle.
  3. Do not walk with the animal in the very heat, but it is better to postpone the walk in the morning or evening.
  4. A walk near water bodies is recommended, it is always cooler there, if the dog gets hot, she can cool herself.
  5. Do not make the dog run, avoid active games.
  6. The most important mistake that people most often make is a pet locked in a car. Even if briefly or with windows open.
  7. Must have access to cold water.
  8. It is advisable to cut the hair, but not baldly, it is fraught with a burn, and at least 2 cm of wool should be left.
  9. If it is hot outside, it is better to keep your pet in the house, or check that there is an opportunity to hide from direct sunlight.
  10. It is best to purchase a cooling mat or vest.
  11. It is recommended to switch to a single meal in the evening, in the heat of animals the appetite disappears.

Cats themselves can take care not to overheat, go to a cool place, but if you leave the animal in a closed car, then do not leave this opportunity. Even with not so hot weather, it is worth the car to stand in the sun for about 30 minutes, as the temperature in it rises to 48 degrees. Imagine what your pet will feel there. You can not leave it in any enclosed space.

If it’s hot at home, you can dampen towels in water and hang around the house to protect the cat. A cat should always have access to cool places in the house. The presence of water is required.

If possible, it is worth turning on the air conditioner or fan.

If you decide to take the animal somewhere, take it with you on vacation, then you should choose a carrier with a large number of holes so that the cat does not suffocate, and on top make a coating of light fabric so that there is shading.

Take care and protect our smaller brothers. Do not drag them again in the heat, leave them at home. If you still decide to take your pet with you, then watch for its being in the sun, transfer it to the shade on time, and replenish the amount of cool water.

What is dangerous heat stroke for animals

Cats and dogs have few sweat glands to remove excess heat from the body, so in the heat of warm-blooded animals occupy shady places and cool surfaces. Instinctively, pets increase their cooling area. The stuffiness and heat make the dog breathe deeply and often. Frequent breathing strengthens the heartbeat, vasodilation occurs. The body is trying to speed up heat transfer and lower the temperature. The cardiovascular system of the elderly, sick and obese animals can not cope with the increased load on the body. The dog receives a heat stroke.

Dog rides in a car

Heat stroke leads to hypoxia. The oxygen saturation of the organs of the tissues of the body and head is sharply reduced. This can lead to cerebral edema, accompanied by convulsions and coma. The consequences of circulatory disorders are often renal and liver failure.

In the heat, pay attention to the brachycephalic breeds of dogs and cats, animals with pathologies of the respiratory tract and heart.

Signs of heat stroke in animals

  1. Frequent and noisy breathing
  2. Redness and dryness of the mucous membranes
  3. Lethargy and fever
  4. Cramps and vomiting.

Animals that are in the car for a long time - in traffic or locked in the parking lot in front of the store, require careful inspection by the owner. Seventy percent of patients with hyperthermia are dogs and cats in the car.

However, a similar state in animals is observed not only at the time of overheating. Symptoms are similar to infectious diseases, septic poisoning. The doctor prescribes another treatment for similar symptoms, help and treatment proceed differently. At the doctor’s appointment, tell us in detail about the condition of the pet and its location - in a closed car, on a leash in the yard under the sun.

At home or indoors:

  1. Spray the animal with jets of cold water or lower it completely into the bath
  2. Turn on the fan or air conditioner
  3. Remove the frozen food, wrap it with a dense rag and place it on the back of the head, neck, in the groin or armpits. Beware of frostbite of the skin
  4. Constantly measure the body temperature in the rectum of the animal. With a mark on the thermometer 39.4 C, - no longer need to be cooled

Dog escapes in a cool bath

Wherever you are, in the event of heat stroke, try to take the pet to the veterinary clinic. Doctors will provide professional help, inject drugs intravenously and quickly put on their feet.

Emergency dog

With thermal shock, first of all, it is necessary to provide the animal with access to fresh air, put it in the shade, in a cool room. Pour cold water on the back of the head, apply compresses (to narrow the vessels of the brain). For quick cooling, wrap the animal with a wet sheet or towel. Provide a plentiful amount of cool drink, which leads to the cooling of an overheated organism and its rehydration.

Heat stroke in cats and dogs

In birds and mammals, the thermoregulation center is located in the brain, in the hypothalamus. Information from all the receptors located on the periphery flows here, and here it is supplemented by information about changes in blood temperature in the vessels of the spinal cord and brain. The spinal cord is also involved in temperature regulation. And when the temperature of the brain becomes higher than normal, cooling mechanisms are activated.
Vessels located close to the surface of the skin expand, the volume of blood flow increases, and heat transfer to the environment increases five to six times. The imperceptible evaporation of moisture from the surface of the body is also enhanced. If this is not enough, then the skin temperature will increase.

In addition, all higher mammals, with the exception of rodents and rabbits, have glands in their skin that produce sweat.Rats and other rodents that do not have sweat glands, when overheated, increase cooling evaporation, licking themselves, moisturizing the surface of their body with saliva. When these animals get hot, it is produced a lot.
Mammals that have few sweat glands cool off, often breathing. Under normal conditions, the dog inhales and exhales air twenty to forty times per minute. At high temperature, she makes three to four hundred breaths per minute. Not only the respiratory rate changes, but also its “structure”: almost all exhaled air passes through the mouth, where moisture evaporates from the surface of the walls of the oral cavity and tongue. As a result, heat consumption increases, since it is wasted during evaporation.

Cats breathe when overheated, like dogs. And they lower body temperature mainly due to the evaporation of moisture from the surface of the mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract.
If the animal is subjected to heat stress and his body temperature rises sharply, rapid breathing prevents the brain from overheating. However, such breathing is a signal for the owner of the animal: you need to help your pet or pets cool off.

Animals located in natural habitats in the heat have the opportunity to go into the shade, hide in a hole, climb into the water. But when a starling, jackdaw, any bird finds themselves in cages, when cats sit there during shows, and all other animals and animals - every day, when birds, cats and dogs are forced to be in a car or in a bag, they cannot protect yourself from overheating.

What temperature will be fatal for an animal depends on a lot, including on age, state of health, fatness, length of coat, body size. In young, as well as in adult animals with cardiovascular insufficiency with lesions of the respiratory system, the fatal temperature is lower. Below it, and in obese animals experiencing overwork. Wool, especially long, slows down heat transfer.

Large animals can live at high temperatures longer than small ones. The mouse suffers overheating for 28 minutes, rat 44, guinea pig - 54, forest dormouse - 67, rabbit - 74 minutes. However, prolonged overheating of rodents causes undesirable consequences: animals can no longer continue their species.

Urgent care. If the animal breathes frequently or shows other signs of overheating, it can be placed in a cool place. If the animal begins to feel bad in the car, it is stopped and the cage is taken out or the animal is taken out of the car into the shade, given him to drink cold water. Further in the car they open windows, make stops from time to time.

If a person does not help the animal and it itself exhausts all ways of dealing with overheating, a critical increase in body temperature will follow, and heat shock and hyperpyrexia will occur. As a result of brain damage, a so-called heat stroke will occur.

In mammals, gait becomes shaky, their temperature is elevated. The pulse is rapid, weak. The breath is intermittent, wheezing. There may be pulmonary edema. The animal loses consciousness, convulsions occur.

With heat stroke, all animals quickly develop weakness. Death occurs mainly due to circulatory disorders.

Help animals with heat stroke should be provided immediately. There is only one cure for everyone: quickly transfer the victim into the shade, into a cool room and pour cold water on the back of the head: until the vessels of the brain narrow.

Birds, and other animals, can put compresses on their heads by wetting a cloth or sponge in cold water. It will not be superfluous if you pour the same water over the back of the animal.

Going somewhere in the heat by car and taking animals with you, you need to take a thermos with cold water, with pieces of ice.

Heatstroke is often in hunting dogs, well-fed and started to work without preliminary training, especially in the heat. Usually the legs immediately stop obeying the dog, and it suddenly falls. But sometimes at first you can see that the back of her body becomes as if naughty. Then the dog falls, as if slanted, and cannot rise.

In this case, the dog can be saved, if only there is a river nearby, any body of water where the victim is lowered. If there is no water nearby, you can use the old forgotten method of treatment for Russian hunters - bloodletting, from 50 to 20 milliliters. The ear is usually cut.

In addition to heat stroke, animals also have sunstroke.

Under the influence of direct sunlight, small animals, as well as animals with a dark color, die especially quickly: they absorb more radiant energy than animals with a light color.

On animals caught in the sun, radiation also acts. It is best tolerated by those whose brain is protected from the penetration of long-wave heat rays.

For sunstroke, unlike thermal shock, the suddenness of the disease, which often occurs at normal body temperature, is characteristic. The mucous membranes of the animal are reddened. The animal is anxious, agitated, convulsions are possible.

During a sunstroke, under the influence of direct sunlight, brain damage occurs, hyperemia occurs - plethora, caused by increased blood flow to the brain, as a result of which its work is disrupted, the work of important centers of the medulla oblongata.

Urgent care. The animal is transferred to a shaded place, compresses with cold water are placed on its head or it is poured on the back of the head.

Heat stroke (overheating) in cats

In this case, the cat needs emergency assistance. Before proceeding, the cause of this problem should be identified and addressed. A disease of the respiratory tract when rapid breathing does not have the desired effect. In order to lower their body temperature and cool their lungs, cats begin to breathe more often. Their salivation increases, they passionately lick themselves, moisturizing the skin with saliva. Saliva evaporation is a very important additional cooling mechanism, but in cases when the ambient temperature approaches body temperature, cooling due to rapid breathing and additional saliva evaporation becomes ineffective. This leads the animal to heat stroke.

As a rule, the following causes lead to overheating of the body and thermal shock:
* The owner leaves the cat in hot weather in the car or in the container.
* Hot weather, fever, cramps, physical overwork.

Short-faced cat breeds (especially Persian), as well as cats with respiratory tract diseases, are especially prone to thermal shock.

A heat stroke in a cat is characterized by very frequent and erratic, noisy breathing. The tongue and mucous membranes become bright red, saliva is thick and viscous, vomiting is often observed. Rectal temperature increased to 41.0.
The cause of the malaise is usually obvious. Confirmation of this is the measured temperature.
If you do not take urgent measures, then the gait of the animal becomes uncertain and shaky. The cat is dizzy, bloody diarrhea and growing weakness are often observed, lips and mucous membranes become cyanotic or even gray. All this leads to collapse, coma and even death of the animal.

When the first symptoms of overheating appear, emergency measures should be taken immediately. The body temperature of the animal should be measured every 10 minutes.
In case of mild overheating, the cat should immediately be placed in a cooler place, for example, in a well-ventilated room or in an air-conditioned car.

If the temperature of the cat rises above 41.0, if it is no longer able to stand, then it should be cooled by immersing in a bath with water colder than air temperature or wrapping it with cool wet towels until the temperature drops to 39.0 - 40, 0. After that, it must be wiped dry. A cat can also be gently, without causing fear, doused or wiped with a sponge dipped in water. Ice packs can be applied to the animal’s head.

Attention! Sudden cooling of the animal is unacceptable! Remember that when a cat overheats, thermoregulation is disturbed and, by cooling the animal sharply, hypothermia (hypothermia) can be easily caused.
Heat stroke can also be associated with a swelling of the throat, which significantly worsens the situation. In this case, the veterinarian will prescribe cortisone injections.

Prevention measures:
* Avoid prolonged exposure to heat in cats with respiratory problems or respiratory depression.
* Do not leave your cat in a car with closed windows, even if it is in the shade.
* Transport the cat in the car only in an open wire cage or in a well-ventilated basket so that the windows can be left open.
* Cats living outside the city should have a shady corner for relaxation and access to water.

Immediately order the injured animal to be delivered to a specialist!

For the purpose of prevention, it is necessary to ensure that the pet has access to shade and drink in hot weather, the use of muzzles that impede breathing is unacceptable, long trips by rail and road in hot weather should be avoided. It is important not to leave the pet locked in the car, even in not very hot weather. Going somewhere in the heat by car and taking animals with you, you need to take a thermos with cold water, with pieces of ice.

The room in which the animal is located should be well ventilated, avoid being in the open sun, especially in the middle of the day. Dogs are best for walking in the morning and evening. Do not overload the animal with physical activity. Active games, training and other outdoor activities are best postponed for a cooler time. Leaving the animal in the apartment, it is possible to turn on the air conditioner or fan, directing cold jets of air to the side, avoiding overcooling.

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