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Heat Stroke is a Serious Condition

August 5, 2015

It’s August and Central Oregon can experience rapid increases in temperature. Heat stroke can become life threatening and occur very quickly. These conditions usually happen when animals are exposed to high environmental temperatures.

There are two different scenarios that lead to heat stroke. The first is pets locked in a car. A Stanford University test found that even if it’s only 72 degrees outside, a car’s internal temperature can rocket to 116 degrees within an hour. In other words, this can happen anytime of the year. When it’s 85 degrees, the temperature inside the car increases to 102 degrees in 10 minutes, and 120 degrees in 20 minutes. And keeping the windows open rarely helps.

Another type of heat stroke occurs during extended exercise. Think about going for a hike wearing a fur coat. Large dogs, overweight dogs and long haired dogs can be at increased risk because it’s harder to cool themselves.

Prevention is the key.

When on a hike look for symptoms such as slowing down, trying to rest in the shade. panting, stumbling, and weakness.

Never leave a pet unattended in a parked car, even for “just a minute.”

If you find your pet suffering from heat stroke, your goal is to lower body temperature by pouring cool or cold water on them.

•          Attempt to get the temp down to 102 in 30-60 minutes.

•          Stop cooling when rectal temp reaches 103.

•          Get them to your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Enjoy the summer by keeping everyone cool.

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