How to protect your pet from high heat? Advice from a Loiret veterinarian

“Heatstroke is a life-threatening emergency in animals”, warns Sophie Koehler, veterinarian at Ingré. Every year, she sees furry “patients” in hyperthermia pass through her office. Sometimes the outcome is tragic.

To avoid tragedies, she recommends owners to be particularly vigilant. “In a vehicle, you never leave an animal alone, even with the window open, even for a quick run”, she recalls. For car trips, air conditioning may be sufficient to keep animals cool.

Watch out for hot asphalt

When walking outside, the veterinarian advises avoiding the hours when the sun is most overwhelming. “It’s like with young children, do not walk your dog between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.. We also avoid going for a run with it in case of high heat.

More insidiously, she also recommends check floor temperature. “In the city, the asphalt of the roads is dark in color and retains heat. If the ground is too hot to hold your hand on for more than five seconds, it’s too hot for an animal’s pads..”

Another tip: shaving the coat is not useful, except in certain Nordic dog breeds, since it protects against sunburn. If your dog wants to bathe, Sophie Koehler recommends getting him wet before he dives into cold water.

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What should I do if my pet has heatstroke?

To detect hyperthermia, it is necessary to pay attention to certain signs. “If the animal has foam in the mouth or in the noseshe explains, if it is weak or unconsciousif its gums are very red or even purplish“, you have to refresh as quickly as possible under cold water. You can also take your temperature. Above 40°C, it is a heat stroke. You must then call your attending veterinarian during opening hours, or SOS veterinarian if he is absent. “You have to react very quickly. It often causes pulmonary edema,” insists Sophie Koehler.

Some animals are more at risk than others. “Those who are sick or have heart failure are more fragile. In dogs, care must be taken with some breedssuch as bulldogs, which breathe less well because of the shape of their face, and northern breeds such as huskies.” small domestic rodentslike rabbits and guinea pigs, are also very susceptible to heatstroke.

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Deaths from cyanobacteria

During the summer, the thermometer is not the only threat. “Every year, there are deaths due to cyanobacteria, organisms present in certain branches of the Loire with little current. They develop with the heat in stagnant water”, specifies the animal care specialist. Another danger, the spikeletsgrasses present “everywhere on the edges of paths”, which can “perforate the skin” and lead to injuries and the risk of infection.

To contact SOS Vétérinaire in the metropolis of Orléans, call

Adrien Rakotoarivelo


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