Poolesville Veterinary Clinic

Monday to Friday 7:30am–7:00pm
Saturday 9:00am–2:00pm
19621 Fisher Ave. • Poolesville, MD 20837 • 301.972.7705

Summertime Hot Temperatures

Dogs and cats are our friends.  We want them to share our lives and they make us happy.  So it is natural to want to share the experiences of exploring the world with them along for the ride.  But in these high summer heat days it is critical to remember that leaving your pet inside a locked car, even with the windows down can be deadly to them.

Even on milder days in our August heat the inside of a closed car, or even one with the windows “cracked” can reach over 110 degrees within 20 minutes.  THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR LEAVING YOUR PET INSIDE YOUR CAR.

Puppies, geriatric and specific breeds (dark-coated, Pugs, Pekingese, Boston Terriers, Mastiffs, Newfoundland, Great Danes, St. Bernard) are at greater risk of heat stroke.  They cannot cool them selves and rapidly due to reduced airway flow, and extreme size.  Remember that dogs do not sweat.  They only cool themselves by panting.

Signs of heat stroke can include:

  • Weakness
  • Vomiting
  • Disorientation and difficulty standing
  • Diarrhea, with blood
  • Tremors or loss of consciousness
  • Excessive drooling
  • Heavy Panting
  • Loss of responsiveness to your voice
  • First Aide:
  • Hose or dunk them in tepid (not cold) water
  • Flush their mouth with cool water repeatedly
  • Place alcohol soaked towels between their legs and under their arms.
  • Go immediately (don’t wait to talk to your vet) to your veterinarian or the closest veterinary office by you (smart phone use).

Guarded prognosis:

Depending on the length of exposure, the delay in getting treatment and other age and health factors the Prognosis can good or bad.  Kidney, Liver and Brain damage are the most common effects of prolonged heat exposure.  Dogs and cats can look fine immediately after recovering from heat stroke only to become very ill within 1-2 days.

Final thoughts:

See your veterinarian for blood work if you think your pet has been overheated and watch your pet for any changes in their behavior or attitude on hot days.