Arlo is a young and playful cat. He gave everyone a fright after he accidently got locked in the car for a couple of hours. Without access to air flow and the inside car temperature climbing he was unable to maintain his body temperature. This resulted in him suffering heat stroke needing immediate veterinary assistance.
To get some help, his family rushed him to their regular veterinarian. They began to bring his body temperature down by gently sponging his body with cool water. He responded well to this initial treatment, but was too unwell to be able to go home. His family agreed to transfer him to EVH for overnight care.
Throughout the night he was on intravenous fluids and being regularly monitored. To ensure no permanent damage had occurred to his organs he also had a comprehensive blood test. This test measured his blood cell count, as well as his kidneys, liver and electrolyte status. Thankfully the blood test results showed no underlying damage.
His family were very grateful to get pick him up from hospital and move on from such a stressful accident. Below are some handy first aid tips should your pet experience heat exhaustion:
First aid tips for pets experiencing heat exhaustion at home:
- Sponge their body down using cool water
- Use a fan to help bring down their temperature
- Avoid placing anything frozen on their skin as it reduces blood supply
- Avoid trying to make them forcibly drink
Things to avoid if treating heat exhaustion at home:
- Avoid using ice or ice blocks
- Do not use frozen packs (ie: vegetables or esky)
- Do not use very cold water
Common causes of heat stroke may include:
- Being in a small area which does not have enough ventilation
- Radiant heat that reflects from house walls, pavement, garage doors, windows and buildings
- Environmental heat, or air temperature
- Exercising where there has been a sudden increase in air temperature
- Underlying disease
With the summer heat truly on its way it is a timely reminder to be on alert for any changes with our pets.