It’s Summer again! hazardous heatstoke keep safe
Dr Nilofer Desai
Heatstroke is a serious medical condition in humans as well as pets during summer months. It is common yet fatal so along with your pet, keep yourself safe and cool.
What is heatstroke?
Heatstroke is a form of non-pyrogenic hyperthermia, which basically means high temperature that is not caused by fever. This happens when dogs are no longer able to regulate their body temperature.
If you suspect any of the above given symptoms, take your pet to the vet immediately. And until you take him to the vet, try to gradually lower the body temperature using these methods –
• Take him to a shady spot where your pet can cool off.
• Soak his feet in fresh water. Keep in mind, never use ice cold water as this could cause more shock. Do not submerge his head and take care that water doesn’t get through his nose or mouth.
• Check your pet’s rectal temperature with a thermometer and stop cooling when the temperature reaches 39°C. From this temperature your pet can self-regulate his body heat and you do not want to cause hypothermia due to the continued cooling.
What to do if your pet has a heatstroke?
Early detection and rapid treatment of heat stroke can make a huge difference in your pet’s condition.
• Learn how to take your pet’s temperature. You can do this with a rectal thermometer or ear thermometer, although these may be less accurate if not used correctly.
• Try and cool him during the journey. Especially when you’re taking your pet to the vet.
Tips to keep your pet cool this summer
• Restrict exercise during excessive heat. Take him for a walk during early morning and late evening hours.
• Never leave your pet in the balcony or open fields.
• Avoid long car journeys during the summer months, and be careful not to leave your pet in the car.
• Provide him with fresh and clean drinking water.
• Make sure he has a cool shady spot in the house.
• Always take water for his walks or play sessions. Keeping your pet hydrated during summers is most important.
• Keep a spray bottle handy. Gently spray cool water after walks or whenever your pet is feeling uneasy.
Signs and symptoms
• High body temperature
• Excessive and fluctuating gasps
• Excessive drooling
• Frothing at the mouth
• Laboured breathing
• Irregular heartbeat
• Lack of coordination
• Very red gums
• Dry and sticky gums
food to give your pet in summers
In many cases, pets become picky eaters in summers. The excessive heat reduces their appetite. It is a good idea to include a lot of fresh fruits in your pet’s daily diet. This will keep him hydrated and give healthy nutrition. Here are some of the fruits you can give your pet –
Seedless watermelons, muskmelons and honeydew are high in moisture and cool the body from within.
For a refreshing treat, mix watermelon juice with fresh ground ginger root and freeze in an ice tray. Ginger soothes upset stomach and is a great anti-inflammatory agent. You can even feed this to diabetic dogs.
These make a great summer chew toy. Just don’t leave your dog unattended while he’s on the gnaw. Like bones, they could become a choking hazard.
These crunchy treats are an excellent source of fiber. You can add these to stews or give them as munchies as well.
Coconut and coconut milk are safe for dogs. Just be sure to throw away the husks. This is one of the food items you want to introduce slowly as some pups can be sensitive to coconut.
Radishes are cooling and draining, perfect for easing the heat of summer and releasing stuck energy.
Crunchy apples are a favourite of many dogs. You can give them as a treat or a healthy mid meal snack as well
If your pet loves milk or yogurt, fruit smoothies are a great treat during summers. Just blend his favourite fruits (berries, apple, mango, kiwi) with yogurt and a delish fruit smoothie is ready.
One of the most potentially overlooked summer treats is water. Tap water is more than fine. You can also make a thin, ice “pancake” by putting water in a plastic bag and freezing it flat. Offer it to your dog to chew on when the temperatures get really hot.
Regular ice cream can wreak havoc on your pet’s tummy. But make lactose-free frozen treats for pups. Just be mindful of calories.
The idea is to keep your pet cool and his diet in check. These fruits and veggies will regulate the calorie intake and help in weight management as well. Rest is all your love and care that will protect your pets in this heat!