May 17th, 2012 11:59 EST
Warning to Pet Owners: Summer Heat is HOT!
With summer just around the corner, temperatures are already hitting record highs for El Cajon, La Mesa and Santee. Rancho San Carlos Pet Clinic, Inc. is warning San Diego pet owners about the dangers of heatstroke in pets. According to the clinic, vigilance and prevention are key to keeping pets comfortable during summer months. The clinic is offering tips to prevent heatstroke, including keeping pets in the cool air conditioning during the middle of the day, exercising pets in the early morning or late evening, and never leaving pets unattended in a parked car. In the event of a heatstroke emergency, the veterinary clinic provides urgent care.
San Diego veterinarian and animal hospital co-owner Dr. Jeff Reh and the entire veterinary team at Rancho San Carlos Pet Clinic, Inc. are working to raise awareness about the dangers of heatstroke and exhaustion in pets.
"Unlike humans, dogs cannot sweat on a hot day to cool themselves off," said Dr. Jeff Reh. "Instead, they pant to cool themselves, and also release heat through the pads on their paws. This means that when temperatures soar, pets can easily overheat."
Veterinarian and animal hospital co-owner, Dr. Shannon Reh, emphasized the importance of recognizing warning signs for heatstroke. With another round of record-breaking summer heat expected for El Cajon, La Mesa and Santee, Dr. Reh says that prevention is essential.
"Vigilance and early intervention are key," said Dr. Reh. "Since pets are unable to verbally tell us when something is wrong, recognizing the early symptoms of heatstroke and taking prompt action is critical to protecting the health and well being of every pet."
Warning signs of heatstroke in animals include excessive panting, elevated heart rate and respiratory rate, drooling, weakness and collapse. In extreme cases, pets may also vomit, have bloody diarrhea or experience seizures. In the event of a heatstroke emergency, pet owners should immediately seek emergency care at the nearest animal hospital.
To help reduce the risk for heatstroke, pet owners should keep pets hydrated and in cool shade or indoors with air conditioning. Hot sidewalks and asphalt can also burn a dog`s paws. Pets can overheat faster than humans and should never be left in a parked car.
"On a hot day, a parked car becomes a deadly furnace," said Dr. Shannon Reh. "Even with the windows open, serious or fatal heatstroke complications can occur. As a simple rule, never leave pets in the car during the summer heat."
According to Dr. Jeff Reh, dogs with heavy fur coats are at a greater risk for heatstroke. "Many dogs with heavy coats are more comfortable following a summer dog grooming session. A lightweight summer haircut should leave at least one inch of hair so as not to expose the skin and increase the risk for a sunburn."
El Cajon, La Mesa and Santee pet owners may visit the website for the veterinary hospital at http://ranchosancarlospet.com.