VCA Delaware Valley Animal Hospital has been offering veterinary services to our community since 1954. We are a full-service hospital located in Langhorne, Pennsylvania. Our team of experienced professionals is dedicated to offering the utmost in veterinary care. We continue to offer our patients and clients excellent medical care, combining traditional medicine along with alternative choices. Our services range from routine yearly care and vaccines, routine spays and neuters, dentistry, elective and routine surgeries, radiography, bloodwork, exotics (rabbits, rodents, ferrets, chinchillas, sugar gliders, etc.), and acupuncture. Our veterinary staff has received special training in acupuncture and other alternative therapies (such as gold wire implantation and prolotherapy), and feline and canine behavior problems.
Keeping pets safe in the heat
The summer months can be uncomfortable-even dangerous- for pets and people. High humidity which we often experience in our area, adds to the intensity of the summer heat.
Here are some tips to help your pets safe and cool this spring/summer season.
Practice basic summer safety:
NEVER LEAVE YOUR PETS IN A PARKED CAR, not even for a moment!
On a warm day, temperatures inside a vehicle can rise rapidly to dangerous levels. For example, on an 85 degree day, the temperature inside a car with the windows opened slightly can reach 102 degrees within 10 minutes. After 30 minutes, the temperature will reach 120 degrees.
WATCH THE HUMIDITY
Dogs (and cats) do not sweat like we do, but pant to evaporate moisture from their lungs, which takes heat away from their body. If the humidity is too high, they are unable to cool themselves and their body temperature will skyrocket to dangerous levels very quickly. Dogs’ body temperatures should not be allowed to get over 104 degrees.
LIMIT EXERCISE ON HOT DAYS
On very hot days, limit exercise to early morning or evening hours, and be especially careful with pets with white-colored ears, which are more susceptible to skin cancer, and short-nosed pets that typically have difficulty breathing. Asphalt gets extremely hot and can burn your pet’s paws, so walk your dog on the grass whenever possible. Always carry water on you to keep your dog from dehydrating.
DON’T RELY ON A FAN
Fans do not cool off pets as effectively as they do people.
PROVIDE AMPLE SHADE AND WATER
Any time your pet is outside, make sure he has protection from heat and sun and plenty of fresh, cold water. During very hot weather, add ice to water whenever possible. Tree shade and tarps are ideal because they don’t obstruct air flow. Doghouses do not provide relief from heat-in fact, makes things worse.
WATCH FOR SIGNS OF HEATSTROKE
Some signs of heatstroke are heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid heartbeat, diffiuclt breathing, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever, dizziness, lack of coordination, profuse salivation, vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue, seizure, and unconsciousness.
Animals have an increased risk for heat stroke if they are very old, very young, overweight, not conditioned to prolonged exercise, and short-nosed breeds of dogs and cats.
HOW TO TREAT A PET SUFFERING FROM HEATSTROKE
Move your pet into the shade or an air-conditioned area. Apply ice packs or cold towels to the head, neck, and chest. Let your pet drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes. Take directly to a veterinarian!