PON owners who live in warm climates may need to be more aware of heat stroke
Heat stroke is a fever that is induced by high environmental temperatures. Animals are at risk when exposed to hot and humid temperatures because effective evaporated cooling in cats and dogs cannot occur in these conditions. This results in the bodyís core temperature rising drastically to above 40 degrees. Once the body exceeds 41,5-42,5 degrees Celsius, cellular function is seriously affected and unconsciousness and even death may follow.
Situations leading to heat stroke.
- PONS left out doors in hot and humid weather with no shade or water (applies to dog shows and other events).
- Exercising your PONS in hot humid weather even if you have water available is putting your PON at risk. Agility events may be high risk.
- Leaving your PON in a closed car in direct sun or on a warm day even with cracked open windows can be deadly. Panting a normal physiological means to cool off actually saturates the air with water vapour making the air in the car warmer and consequently even more difficult for an animal to cool down.
- Young and older PONS are more sensitive to high temperatures because they cannot acclimatize effectively.
- Heavy coated PONS are at higher risk.
- PONS with medical problems such as history of seizures , heart or lung disease should never be exposed to hot humid temperatures.
Signs of Heat stroke
- Difficulty in breathing
- Bloody diarrhea
- High body temperature (above 40 degrees Celsius or 104 Fahrenheit.
- Increased heart and respiratory rate
- Mucous membranes bright red
- Capillary refill time very fast ( less than 1 sec)
- Depression , lethargic ( acting drunk )
- Seizure ,Collapse, or coma
First Aid For Heat stroke
- The objective here is to cool your PON down as fast as possible to bring the body temperature down back to normal .
- If your PON is outdoors or in a car get your PON out of the car or out of direct heat and bring to a cool shaded area.
- Check for ABCís of CPR and shock ; administer CPR
- Hose down your PON with cool water. Use and find anything you can to wet your PON's coat.
- Place water soaked towels on head, neck, feet chest and abdomen.
- If you have air conditioning in the car place your PON in car with air conditioning on high and drive straight to your veterinarian. If your PON is in shock and requires CPR have an other person give first aid keep air conditioning on while driving to the veterinarian.
- If incidence occurs at home place pet in bath tub with running shower( cool water).
- Rub alcohol under the toe pads. This helps to cool the body.
- Once you have started cooling your PON take itís temperature every 5 minutes until you reach your veterinarian.When your PON's temperature returns to normal (38.5-39.5degrees Celsius ) stop cooling .