Dr. Amy Saucke-Lacelle, DVM
As we’re heading into summer, many families will be taking their pets on hikes, to the beach, or just spending more time outdoors.
Here are a few pet safety tips to take into consideration when playing outdoors with your furry friends.
Hyperthermia and Heat stroke
Hyperthermia is a condition that occurs when our pet’s body temperature rises above normal body temperature (100-102.5°F) due to warm/hot environmental temperatures. When the body temperature rises above 105°F, our pets develop heat stroke where they are unable to dissipate their body heat adequately. This is an emergency situation, which can result in multiple organ failure or even death.
Heat stroke most frequently occurs when our pets are kept in a small-enclosed environment with inadequate ventilation, such as a car in the hot summer months. Studies have shown that a car parked in direct sunlight in 80°F weather had an increase to over 120°F inside the car within less than an hour.
Signs of heat stroke include heavy panting, fast heart rate, lethargy, dizziness, vomiting and diarrhea or decreased consciousness. Contact your veterinarian or closest veterinary emergency hospital immediately if you suspect that your pet is suffering from heat stroke.
In order to prevent heat stroke, never leave your pet alone in the car (even while running short errands). Always provide adequate amounts of drinking water and ensure your pet has a cool, shaded environment to rest at home.
In general, rattlesnakes will try to avoid humans and our pets, however they will bite as a defense mechanism when they feel threatened. Many dogs and cats will be intrigued by these animals and have a tendency to approach snakes, without realizing the danger associated with a snake bite.
A rattlesnake bite is a medical emergency, which generally requires antivenin, antibiotics and pain medication. If you suspect that your pet was bitten by a snake, please seek medical care immediately.
In order to prevent rattlesnake bites, always stay watchful and keep control of your pets while in rattlesnake habitats. On hikes, always stay on open paths and keep your dog on a leash. Training your dog to avoid snakes through rattlesnake aversion courses can prevent bites in many cases.
A preventative rattlesnake vaccine is also available, and although it will not prevent a snakebite, it may help neutralize some of the rattlesnake venom and therefore decrease the severity of signs when your pet is bitten. Please discuss this vaccine with your regular veterinarian.
Foxtails are a type of weed that has little spikelet seeds, which are abundant in the Sonoma area. These pesky plants can work their way into your pet’s nose, ears, eyes or skin and migrate through the body causing severe infection in certain cases.
If your pet starts suddenly sneezing, shaking his head, pawing at his ears, hacking, gagging or if you notice any swollen areas on his body, please bring him into your regular veterinarian for evaluation immediately.
Please stay vigilant with all these summer hazards and have a wonderful summer with your furry friends!
#dogs #cats #petsafety