At Central Virginia Veterinary Clinic, we have years of experience providing residents of Louisa, VA with reliable veterinary care. This includes treatment for pet heatstroke and pet dehydration. Dehydration and heatstroke have the potential to be fatal, and the safest treatment is to prevent either from occurring in the first place.
Average Virginia high temperatures range between 76 in May and 79 in September, peaking in July at almost 88 degrees. Combine that with July's humidity and your pet can easily overheat outdoors without frequent water breaks and adequate shade. Long-haired breeds with black or dark brown fur are particularly vulnerable to dehydration and heatstroke.
Pet Heatstroke Defined
Any prolonged body temperature above the expected one for that pet species constitutes hyperthermia or fever. Since many pets have no sweat glands, they radiate heat away from their bodies through their ears and paw pads and by panting. If an animal appears distressed while panting rapidly or has stopped panting and does not respond properly, it may be suffering from heatstroke.
What Causes Pet Dehydration?
- Water evaporates from dishes and troughs
- Leashes/ties are too short to reach water sources
- Available shade disappears with the movement of the sun
- Prolonged exposure to high heat and humidity
- Poor ventilation
- No air conditioning
- Overexertion or prolonged outdoor activity without adequate rest breaks
- Leaving your pet inside a car, even with open windows
Pet Body Temperatures and Preventing Dehydration
- Dogs: 101.5 °F
- Cats 100.5 °F to 102.5 °F
- Rabbits 102 °F to 103 °F
- Horses 99 to 101.5 °F
- Birds 102 to 109 °F
With their average body temperature so many degrees higher than humans and without the ability to sweat efficiently, your pet can and will dehydrate faster than you. Pets can reach the point of heatstroke in temperatures that may only make you mildly uncomfortable. To keep your pet out of the danger zone, create misting stations by running sprinkler hoses around the edges of barns and shade structures for horses and other livestock. Clean and fill water dishes and troughs at shorter intervals. Provide ice blocks for rabbits and caged pets to lie against. Keep water dishes where your pet will not knock them over and check them more often during hot, sunny days. Create an oasis under bushes or overhangs by running a sprinkler for birds and small animals. Never leave your pet inside a vehicle, even with windows down. And finally, give all pets some way to bathe, whether in a birdbath, a child's swimming pool, or a naturalized backyard pond with a gentle, sloped approach.
Contact Our Veterinarian in Louisa, VA for Pet Dehydration and Pet Heatstroke Treatment
For more information on pet heatstroke and pet dehydration or to schedule an appointment with our veterinarian, call Central Virginia Veterinary Clinic today at (540) 967-1404.