Fun in the Sun Can be Harmful to Pets

May 18th, 2014 | By Marjie No Comments

RecerationWith temperatures warming and summer just around the corner, it’s time to prepare your pet for our Georgia heat.

“As temperatures rise, we see many cases of heat-related illness because people don’t realize it’s as hot as it is and they leave their pets in closed cars,” explains Benjamin Brainard, VMD, DACVA, DACVECC, a small animal emergency and critical care veterinarian at the UGA Veterinary Teaching Hospital (VTH).  “We see a fair number of cases every year, and it’s important for pet owners to know that closed cars can heat up inside very quickly — even on mild or cloudy days, although the heat is worse during the summer months.”

All animals, whether small pets or large farm animals, can avoid heat-related illnesses with the right environmental conditions.

“It’s pretty much the same for all animals,” states Kira Epstein, DVM, DACVS, DACVECC, a large animal emergency veterinarian at the UGA VTH.  “Making sure they have shade outdoors or a well-ventilated indoor space, and clean, cool water are the most important things that owners can provide.”

Small animals such as dogs and cats do not necessarily need shorter hair to stay cool in summer months, according to Brainard.  Since small animals do not sweat through their skin the way humans do, the hair on many pets acts as a protective layer for avoiding sunburn and heat-related illnesses.  Keeping their coat brushed and void of mats is important to keeping air circulating throughout their hair, which has its own cooling effect.

Signs indicating an animal may be suffering a heat-related illness include lethargy or collapse, increased respiratory rate, and vomiting or diarrhea.  Brainard and Epstein suggest that if a heat-related illness is suspected, pour cool water on the animal and provide air circulation using a fan, if available.

The good news is that with timely and aggressive treatment, most heat-related illnesses can be successfully treated, although more severe cases may require hospitalization and intensive care.

The University of Georgia Veterinary Teaching Hospital (VTH) treats nearly 20,000 animals annually.  24-hour Emergency Services are offered at the VTH with no referrals required.  Please visit www.vet.uga.edu/hospital for more information.

Be Sociable, Share!
Add Comment Register

Leave a Reply

bigstock-Happy-Family-Moments--Mother--63467590

When We All “Adapt,” We All Win!

Usually, we use the “Adaptive MOVES” feature to talk about the latest technology, equipment, or activity being used to enable persons with disabilities to play sports and participate in recreational activities. This issue,…

883871_10203883300389556_8006242355739813128_o

Twilight Criterium is Changing Course

Athens’ Twilight Criterium is returning  April 24 and 25, and it is bringing with it some exciting changes! While previous Twilight races took place in the historic center of Athens, construction on Clayton…

bigstock-Senior-In-Garden-33608774

Great ACTIVities for Seniors

We’ve written about everything from archery to yoga, bird-watching to walking … all of which are great activities for those who are over 50 years of age. Before I continue, though, I’d just…

Things to Consider Before Getting a Pet

With nicer weather approaching, many families may be wondering if now is the right time to welcome a four-legged friend into their home. “Animals are a great way to teach responsibility, get active,…

bigstock-Man-and-boy-fishing-on-the-lak-23859308

Fishing for Food, Fun, and Fitness

It is tempting to begin this article by writing “I enjoy fishing.” In all truth, I do enjoy fishing, but I’ve only been fishing (as in, with a rod and reel and bait)…

Project-Leaf-2

Project LEAF

When I entered my first year of graduate school, my heart and mind were overflowing with dreams and goals. I knew I wanted to make a difference. Upon graduating from Valdosta State University,…

bigstock-Young-Girl-Using-Skipping-Rope-4637624

“Hour” kids need this much physical activity every day

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that children and adolescents have 60 minutes or more of physical activity each day.  Aerobic (brisk walking, runninga) should make up the majority of…

Girls-Basketball

SECOND SEASON Part 4 of 6

“I don’t want to see a single head lowered in this locker room.” The Shell’s voice had more body than it usually did. It felt heavier and more powerful. “Losing a game is…