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Keeping Your Cat’s Coat Healthy

Friday, March 27th, 2020

East Meadow Vets Provide Helpful Tips to Care for Your Cat’s Coat

Your cat’s coat is not only soft and beautiful, but it provides many different functions such as protection from weather conditions such as heat, cold, wind, and rain. If you notice that your cat’s coat is dull or its skin is dry, it may be a sign of poor nutrition, weight, age, allergies, diseases, or bathing them too frequently. Dive deeper with our East Meadow vets to learn more.

A good healthy diet will not only show in your cat’s coat but in their overall health. A balanced diet consists of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. If your cat is lacking one or more of these nutrients, they may experience issues with digestion and lack vital minerals and vitamins the body needs.

According to Web MD, nearly 60% of cats in the United States are overweight. Being overweight or obese prevents cats from being able to reach the entirety of their body to self-clean. A non-shiny coat may also be the result of age. The older your cat gets, the more they are susceptible to being less flexible or even arthritic. Washing your cat too often can also cause your furry friend to have a dull coat. If you’re concerned about this, there are steps you can take to revive your kitty’s coat.

Your cat should be eating meals with protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Cats need more protein than dogs. It’s important to invest in a premium brand of cat food for the best results. Try adding fatty acids found in salmon or fish oils into your cat’s food, to treat their fur from the inside out. Our East Meadow vets suggest what type of meals are best for your pet and if supplementing omega-3s, for example, is essential for your cat.

If your cat is overweight or obese, you may notice dandruff down their back or along their tail. Being overweight leads to more serious health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, or cancer. Visit Island Trees Veterinary Hospital for a proper evaluation of your cat. After we assess them, we’ll help you create a plan on how to improve their health which may include weight loss and diet tips. 

As previously stated, age can play a factor as to why your cat’s coat is dull. Oftentimes, they’re unable to clean their coat thoroughly by themselves as they get older. If you notice this, assist your cat with cleaning their coat by brushing it using a fine-toothed comb. A fine-toothed comb captures any dull or dead hairs a brush may be unable to reach.

If your cat has dry skin or a dull coat, reduce how often you bathe your cat. Bathing them too much causes dry skin. Try bathing them only when their coat is extremely dirty. If your kitty has fleas, try a monthly treatment rather than constantly bathing them to rid of the pesky problem. And remember, stick to using flea products only made for cats. Read the label and directions properly to make sure you’re using the medication effectively. Don’t hesitate to ask our team regarding the most efficient ways to get rid of fleas.

Call our East Meadow veterinary hospital at (516) 735-0090 to schedule your cat’s consultation today!

When to take your pet to the vet

Saturday, February 15th, 2020

Our pet is always treated to be a part of our family. Whether it is a dog, a cat, a bird, or any species, it is considered as our best friend. In fact, our pets help us relieve our stress through the joy that they bring in every action that they do. However, how do we identify some alarming actions that mean a need for medical attention?

In this article, we’re going to talk about the signs that should let you know it’s about time to bring your pet to a vet. If you observe these in your pet, then you should consult your veterinarian. If you do not have one, you may contact a Plainview veterinarian as soon as possible.

1. Strange Eating Pattern

When your pet skips one or two meals on a hot sunny day, it is normal because he has not used up all of his energy and decided to stay indoors. However, if your pet abnormally skips more than two meals, it is something alarming. Skipping meals for two days or more is a noticeable sign that your pet needs to be medically attended for.

2. Becoming Thirsty Excessively

As an owner, you should monitor the amount of water that your pet drinks every day. Suddenly drinking water in an excessive amount could mean that your pet is experiencing diabetes or kidney disease. You will be able to observe if your pet is excessively drinking water if you notice that you refill his water container more than the normal times that you do. Another sign that you can observe is the abnormal volume of urine.

3. Dull and Unhealthy Coat

Your pet’s coat should appear shiny, soft, and thick. If the coat is dry, rough, and dull, it could mean that there is something alarming that is happening to your pet. Another indication is if you could notice bald spots on your pet’s fur. These signs could be caused by skin disease, allergic reaction, or the wrong type of food consumed by your pet. If these continue to show, you might as well as consult a reliable Plainview veterinarian to help you out with your pet.

4. Your Pet Always Seems Tired

Being sluggish, also known as lethargy, is an observable sign that something is wrong with your pet’s physical health. A sluggish pet may be apathetic in physical activities like walking in the park, playing indoors or outdoors, or being engaged in physical activities they usually love doing.

Aching muscles or common fatigue might be causing this due to high temperature levels. However, you should consult a veterinarian if this sign continues to show for two days or more.

5. Nausea

Sometimes, a pet that vomits does not mean that his life is in danger. Most pets do it sometimes to remove food or something mixed in it that does not agree with their stomach. However, there are other kinds of vomiting that you could observe which can be something that you should not ignore. You should contact a veterinarian quickly if your pet shows these signs:

  • Frequent vomiting or a few times consecutively
  • Blood is observed in the vomited substance
  • Fever is present
  • Acute vomiting could lead to diarrhea or dehydration

6. Abnormal Stool

Your pet’s feces are a good sign that shows the quality of his health. A healthy pet’s bodily waste should be firm, moist, and small. On the other hand, hard and dry feces could be a clear indication of dehydration, dietary issues, or maladies. You should consult a veterinarian if your pet shows these signs:

  • Worms or parasites are observable in the feces
  • Experiencing diarrhea for 24 hours or more
  • Struggling
  • Mucus or blood is observable in the feces

7. Unexpected Loss of Weight

A pet, even an obese one, who suddenly loses weight should be an alarming sign that requires you to consult a veterinarian. Having your pet’s weight radically dropping in a sudden manner could mean a grave health disorder. If the weight of your pet drops by ten percent or more, you should seek medical attention. In smaller breeds, this can be as small as losing one pound of weight.

8. Red or Cloudy Eyes

If your pet shows reddening or cloudy eyes, it could mean that he has an injury or infection. Other signs can be in the form of excessive eye discharge or squinting. You should ensure that your pet is medically attended for when any of these signs show. Ailments that affect your pet’s eyes can develop quickly which can lead to blindness. Treatment can be performed to heal the infected area.

9. Dragging or Scratching Rear

If your pet is unusually dragging or scratching his rear on the ground, it may indicate the presence of parasites or perhaps infected or blocked anal glands. It may also be caused by diarrhea or a urinary tract infection. This is something you should not also ignore, and if this sign shows up, you should contact your veterinarian for medical attention.

10. Other Emergency Signs

There are also other signs that you should worry about. If these other emergency signs can be observed from your pet, you should take your pet to a veterinarian:

  • Possible fractured bones or open wounds
  • Irregular breathing
  • Passing out or collapsing suddenly
  • Vomiting excessively or repeatedly
  • Blood in the vomited substance
  • Convulsion or seizure
  • Bleeding from the pet’s nose, eyes, or mouth
  • Possible food poisoning
  • Noticeable excruciating pain from shaking or whining
  • Inflated and hard abdomen

Due to your pet’s survival instinct, it will do its best to look healthy physically. It is totally important to be aware of your pet’s health and monitor him even with the slightest change in his actions. You totally know your pet better than anyone could tell, so if there is something wrong with your pet, you should seek a reliable veterinarian for assistance or medical checkup.

While you can find a lot of pets that you can buy in pet shops or adopt in some adoption centers, there is no greater pet than the one that you already have with you.

Road Trip Tips for Your Pet

Monday, July 8th, 2019

Whether you’re driving two hours or going cross-country, adventuring with your pet can be an awesome bonding experience for both of you. There are some steps you can take to ensure the process goes as seamlessly as possible. Your pet hospital of Levittown, Island Trees Veterinary Hospital, has some tips on how to stay safe while traveling with your pet this summer. Read below to find out more information on travel safety for your furry friend.

 

Don’t let your dog or cat roam around in the car. Always be sure that they are in a crate to minimize the risk of injury while traveling. Secure the crate in place using either a seatbelt or other anchor. Don’t rely on a seatbelt to secure your pet alone since they do not provide accurate protection in case of a crash. Allowing your pet to roam in the car is not only a safety risk for your pet, but it could also lead to distracted driving and put every occupant of the car at risk.

 

Don’t allow your pet to stick their head out the window. As tempting as it is to allow your pet the freedom of their tongue wagging in the wind, it can actually raise health risks. Debris and particles in the air can hurt your pet and actually cause disease or infection. The cold air can also cause them respiratory issues. Never transport your pet in the bed of a truck because it can be incredibly dangerous for pets. Whether they are in a carrier or not, riding in the bed can be risky and is considered illegal in some states.

 

Take frequent rest stops not only for yourself but for your pet. Sitting in a car for too long will make them stir-crazy and may lead to behavioral issues. Always bring a leash with you so that you can explore together at rest stops. Carry ID with you at all times in case of emergency, and your pet hospital of Levittown recommends microchipping your pet in case you accidentally lose them. If you are in an area far from home or an unfamiliar place, be really careful with where you walk your pet. Always be wary of your surroundings and keep an eye on your cat or dog at all times.

 

Pack with them in mind. While it may be tempting to pack light and only include essentials, don’t forget your furry friend’s necessary items. You’ll need bowls, food, water, a carrier, a leash, and toys to entertain them with. It would also be beneficial to have a recent picture of your dog just in case you lose them. Bring their proof of vaccinations and be sure to read up on any potential wildlife threats in the area you’ll be visiting so that you can plan accordingly. Bring a life vest if you’ll be participating in water-related activities.

 

Consider checking your pet into a boarding facility. Island Trees Veterinary Hospital recommends boarding your pet if you are going on a trip. Having a team dedicated to caring for your pet can sometimes be better for them rather than taking them on the trip with you. While we all love to spend more time with our pets, sometimes boarding them can be the right option.

 

If you’re looking for more helpful tips for traveling with your pet, don’t hesitate to ask! Give our team a call at (516) 735-0090 and our front desk staff will be happy to assist you.

Keep Your Dog Cool This Summer

Wednesday, June 26th, 2019

Summer is an excellent time to get outside with your furry friend! It can also be risky for your pet’s health and wellness. There are some steps you can take to help ensure that your dog has a care-free and safe summer. Read some tips below from your Plainview veterinarian, Dr. Gottlieb, to help keep your pet happy and comfortable all summer long.

 

  1. Never leave them in the car. Leaving your dog in the car, even for a few moments, can leave them at risk for serious health issues. On a 90-degree day, it only takes about 20 minutes for your car to reach 130 degrees. Dogs can’t regulate body temperature the same way humans do and they are left at great risk if left alone in the heat. Cracking the window open is not enough and has little effect on the internal heat of the car. Always take your dog with you if you need to run an errand while they are with you, otherwise, it may be best to leave them at home.
  2. Avoid sunburn. Shorthaired pets can benefit from the use of sunscreen on sunny days. Pink or white areas of skin are vulnerable to sun damage. Areas like their nose, ears, lips, and bellies don’t have hair to protect them and may require some help. There are specific products available for pets to help prevent sunburn. There are various options ranging from organic, vegan, and chemical-free. While haircuts can help keep your pet cool, their fur can actually help protect them from the sun. Don’t completely shave your pet and always provide lots of shade for them to relax under.
  3. Be mindful of when you exercise. Pets need to remain active and use their energy, even in the hot summer months. There are ways you can still provide sufficient exercise time for your pet while also protecting them from the heat. Exercise either before the sun comes up or after it sets. This will help keep your pet cool and protect their skin from sun damage.
  4. Avoid hot asphalt. Asphalt can be incredibly hot for your pet’s paws. The proximity of their body to the asphalt can also raise their body temperature drastically. Choose to walk your dog on the grass or a sidewalk instead of the street, or consider buying shoes for them to protect their paws during the hottest hours of the day.
  5. Avoid humidity. Humid weather can interfere with your pet’s ability to pant and keep themselves cool. If it is too humid and hot outside, consider keeping your walk as short as possible so that you can return to the air conditioning indoors.
  6. Use air conditioning. Modern conveniences can help your pet stay comfortable and healthy all summer long. Providing enough shade, water, and air conditioning can help your pet stay happy and energetic throughout the summer season. Your Plainview veterinarian recommends turning on the AC, even when you’re not home, to make sure that your pet is comfortable all day long.
  7. Leave them at home. It may be tempting to want to bring your furry friend everywhere with you. Summer adventures are so much more fun with your best companion! However, sometimes leaving your pet at home is the most sensible option. Crowded or hot environments can stress your dog out, and they may be susceptible to heat stroke or even behavioral problems.
  8. Be prepared for fireworks. Fireworks can scare your pet and make them skittish. Choosing to leave them at home will ensure that they don’t run off during any barbeques or pool parties. Staying home with them may be a good idea to help them feel safe and calm. A scared dog tends to be a little destructive to the house, so your presence may be able to ease those nerves.
  9. Check for ticks. Ticks can carry diseases that may be harmful to your pet’s health. Always check for ticks after walking them in grassy or wooded areas. Your Plainview veterinarian recommends using a tick prevention treatment year-round to protect your pet during all seasons.
  10. Don’t assume your dog can swim. Not all dogs can swim, so don’t ever throw them in the pool or leave them outside alone. If you have an inground pool, make sure there is a fence so that your dog can’t get to it. Not only can they drown, but drinking pool chemicals can be toxic to your pet. You can train your dog to swim or enroll them in swimming classes in case of emergency. Always monitor your dog in the pool to make sure that they don’t have difficulty from the exhaustion of swimming. You can also invest in a kiddie pool that would provide your pet with relief from the heat while also being shallow enough to eliminate risk.

Did You Know? 25 Fascinating Feline Facts

Friday, October 21st, 2016

National Cat Day is October 29. And yes, if you have a cat you’ll know everyday is considered cat day in your house, but did you know some of these amazing facts? Read on to learn more about your favorite household furball, your cat.

• Common household pain relievers (like Tylenol or Advil), caffeine (whether coffee, tea or soda) and and raisins are poisonous to cats.

• The ancestor of all domestic cats was once believed to be the African Wild Cat, but a new study suggests that the Near Eastern Wildcat became domesticated some 5,300 years ago by farmers in China.

• In ancient Egypt, cat owners would shave off their eyebrows to show their grief after their beloved cat died.

• Cats use their whiskers to help them navigate the dark and the space around them.

• Cats can rotate their ears up to 180 degrees and move them separately.

• Today there are about 100 distinct breeds of the domestic cat.

• Isaac Newton is credited with inventing the first cat door.

• Like birds, cats have a homing ability that uses its biological clock, the angle of the sun and the earth’s magnetic field.

• Hunting is not instinctive for cats. Kittens born to non-hunting mothers may never learn to hunt.

• Cats can make over 100 types of vocal sounds while dogs can only make 10.

• Cats will snack on grass to help with digestion and rid their system of any fur (those pesky furballs!).

• Among other tasks, cats can be taught to use a toilet, come, sit, beg, eat with their paws, heel, jump through a hoop, play a piano, play dead, roll over, open a door, hide food in boxes, shake and fetch.

• Domestic cats spend about 70 percent of the day sleeping and another 15 percent of the day grooming.

• In Great Britain and Australia, black cats are thought to bring good luck.

• Besides smelling with their nose, cats can smell with an additional organ called the Jacobson’s organ, located in the upper surface of the mouth.

• Cats can’t taste sweets.

• Like person’s fingerprint, the surface of a cat’s nose is as unique identifier.

• Studies have shown that owning a cat can reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack by a third.

• Forbes might not have a list of the world’s richest cats but there’s one in particular who would definitely make the list — An Italian heiress left her cat, Tommaso, $13 million after she passed away.

• A large majority of white cats with blue eyes are deaf. White cats with only one blue eye are deaf only in the ear closest to the blue eye. White cats with orange eyes do not have this disability.

• Cats don’t have sweat glands, they sweat through the pads of their feet.

• Neutering a cat extends its life span by two or three years.

• Hard to believe, but only 11.5 percent of people consider them “cat people.”

• The inventor Nikola Tesla first became fascinated in learning more about electricity after being zapped as a child by static electricity thanks to his cat, Macak.”

• It might be hard to believe when they’re such great couch potatoes, but house cats can run 30 miles per hour. That’s faster than Olympian Usain Bolt.

Disaster Planning and Keeping Your Pets Safe

Tuesday, August 16th, 2016

Late summer is the time for storms and flooding. When disaster strikes, having an emergency plan is essential. But as you plan for the worst (and hope for the best), don’t forget about your pet’s place in those plans. Thousands of animals were displaced by the storms and flooding that ravaged the Gulf Coast following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and New York and Long Island were severely affected by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. The recent floods in Louisiana have already forced thousands of residents—and their pets—out of their homes. Here are some tips to help you keep your pet safe in the event of a major emergency.

The first and most important step is to plan ahead. In the event of a hurricane, earthquake, flood or other natural disaster, you may be forced to evacuate your home. However, most disaster shelters, such as those maintained by the Red Cross, generally cannot accommodate pets, with the exception of service animals. Because of this, it’s a good idea to work out some kind of emergency shelter plan for your pet. Contact hotels and motels outside your immediate area and find out if they allow pets, either in times of emergency or on a regular basis. Friends and relatives outside the affected area may also be able to care for your pets. Many veterinary hospitals and boarding kennels outside of the immediate disaster area also provide shelter for animals in an emergency. Some veterinary hospitals, especially those in disaster-prone areas, have emergency plans in place for pets staying at their facility. Whichever method you choose, keep a list of these “pet friendly” emergency accommodations on hand and make arrangements as far in advance as possible.



Whatever you do, don’t leave your pet at home. Leaving a pet alone during an emergency is likely to result in your pet being injured, lost or even worse. If you are forced to evacuate and cannot make shelter arrangements for your pet, bring him or her with you and try to find shelter for them along the way. In the case of floods, hurricanes, major storms and other disasters for which warnings are often issued in advance, start making preparations immediately. Confirm emergency shelter arrangements, bring your pets inside, and be sure all of your animal companions are wearing some sort of ID tag. Microchipping your pet is the best way to ensure that you are able to find your pet should he or she become lost during an evacuation.

Having a disaster supplies kit for your pet is very helpful. This kit should include medications, medical records and a first aid kit, leashes and harnesses, a supply of food and portable water, a photo of your pet (in case he or she gets lost), and bedding and a toy or two to keep your pet comfortable, if easy to transport. Pet crates, for transporting your pets, are essential. Preparations for each pet depend on the species and age of the pet. For example, birds should be transported in a secure cage or carrier, while snakes can be transported temporarily in a pillowcase until more secure housing can be found. Farm owners or those caring for horses and other large animals must also make special arrangements for evacuating or sheltering their animals at home.

For more information and detailed examples of emergency plans, The Humane Society of the United States maintains a list of disaster preparedness resources for pet owners on their website. Additionally, the American Red Cross and the Federal Emergency Management Agency have compiled a list of resources and tips for keeping animals safe during a disaster. Individual states may have their own disaster plans for animals. The American Veterinary Medical Association maintains a list of states with animal disaster plans.

If you have questions about disaster planning for your pet, please call Island Trees Veterinary Hospital for more information

10 Common Questions Asked after the Loss of a Pet

Tuesday, August 16th, 2016

The loss of a cherished animal companion can cause extreme sadness, intense guilt, and a whirlwind of other emotions. Often, you will seek answers to questions that may not be black and white. Below, you will find some of the most common questions pet owners ask of themselves while grieving the death of a pet.

1. When is the right time to euthanize a pet?

Your veterinarian will make a recommendation based on your pet’s physical condition and long-term outlook. You, however, have the unique insight into your pet’s daily quality of life. By evaluating your pet’s health honestly, you will be able to work with your veterinarian to come to the most humane decision for your individual pet. The decision to euthanize will never be easy, but is often the final act of love you can provide a pet who is suffering.


2. Should I stay with my pet during euthanasia?

This is a completely personal decision that you will need to make. Many pet owners want to be there for their pets and witness it so they can see it happened peacefully and without pain. This can be traumatic, but not witnessing the death may make it harder to accept that the pet is really gone. Also, you want to gauge your own emotional strength- if you have an uncontrolled outpouring of emotions before your pet passes, it may be upsetting for him or her to witness. Euthanasia can sometimes be performed at home. Discuss your options with your veterinarian.


3. I’ve heard of the stages of grief, but what are they?

The grieving process is often illustrated by five stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Typically, you will move through them progressively, but everyone grieves in different ways. You’ll know you’re beginning to heal when you’re thinking more rationally and more often of the good times you shared with your pet rather than of the “what-ifs” and the guilt.


4. How can I cope with my feelings?

Having someone to share your feelings with will help you not have to keep them locked up inside. Don’t deny how you feel or simply put on a brave face. You must acknowledge your feelings to work through them. Some of your thoughts may be misguided and as time passes you will be able to realize this. Do whatever works best for you as a means of emotional expression – go somewhere secluded and scream, cry, talk, write, paint, create a memorial, or find a new activity to fill the time you previously would’ve spent with your pet.


5. Should I just get over it?

It is common to hear the phrase “it was just a pet” when others find your emotions to be too extreme or too long-lasting. These people aren’t aware that the death of a pet creates the same emotional response as the loss of a human friend or family member. Grieving is natural and thousands of pet owners can attest to that.


6. Who can I talk to?

Share your feelings with family or friends who have pets. Reminisce about your pet. Or, speak with Dr. Gottlieb or Dr. Caren at Island Trees Veterinary Hospital to identify pet loss counselors or support groups. Hospitals and churches also often have resources for grief support.


7. Should I do burial, cremation, or disposal?

This is another decision which should be based on your personal wishes. It can be easiest to have a clinic dispose of your pet’s remains (often for a fee), but many prefer something more formal. Based on your living situation, a burial at home may be a good choice. However, both burial and cremation depend on your personal or religious values, finances, and future plans. Your veterinarian or an online search will provide options available in your area.


8. What should I tell my children?

Be honest with your children and provide as much information as they seek in a way that matches their age and maturity level. Saying their pet was “put to sleep” is not advised, as they may begin to fear bedtime. Allow your children to grieve in their own ways and be open about your own emotions around them rather than teaching them to keep it all inside.


9. Will my other pets get depressed?

Your other pets may notice a change in the household. Based on their relationship, some may search for their companion, eat less, and seem to be grieving. Giving your surviving pets extra love and attention during this time will be beneficial not only to them, but to you as well.


10. Should I get a new pet right away?

Generally, it is best to allow yourself time to work through your grief and loss before introducing a new pet into your home and life. A new pet is a unique individual, not a replacement. Try to avoid getting one that looks the same or naming it the same as your deceased pet and don’t expect it to behave exactly the same either. Getting a new pet too soon may lead to resentment or feelings of disloyalty because you still want your old pet back.

The entire staff at Island Trees Veterinary Hospital is here to help you during this extremely difficult time. If you have any questions, please stop by our office or give us a call to set up a private consultation.

Is Ice Water Harmful For Your Pet ?

Monday, July 18th, 2016

Concerned pet owners may have come across a Facebook post warning against giving dogs ice water. The post claims that giving dogs ice water can cause bloat, which can lead to a life-threatening condition called gastric dilation and volvulus (GDV), or more commonly called “bloat.” It’s often accompanied by a seemingly true story of a well-meaning pet owner trying to keep their dog cool on a hot day only to find they must rush their pet to the emergency vet.

It sounds scary, but it’s absolutely false. Veterinarians across the country have been addressing this myth for years, but the misinformation continues to spread thanks to social media. Frigid gastric ‘cramping’ is a falsehood similar to those that inform you that your hair will grow back coarser if you shave it (myth), or that you shouldn’t go swimming for 30 minutes after eating lest you drown in a fit of cramps (myth).

Bloat can be caused when your dog drinks too much too quickly, but the temperature of the water has nothing to do with this. In fact, putting ice cubes in your dog’s water can sometimes slow your dog’s water consumption, keeping the risk of bloat at bay.

If you have a large dog and are concerned about bloat, we recommend feeding a few small meals per day instead of one large meal and avoid exercising for an hour or so after eating. But if your pup is thirsty on a hot day, there’s nothing dangerous about helping them cool off with ice water.

Bloat or gastric torsion is a disease n which the dog’s stomach dilates and then rotates, or twists, around its axis. Bloat is primarily a disease of large and giant-breed dogs. Deep-chested breeds such as great Danes, German shepherds and standard poodles are most commonly affected.

For additional information about bloat, please call Island Trees Veterinary Hospital.

Symptoms and Treatment for Heatstroke

Friday, July 8th, 2016

Heatstroke is a serious condition that can lead to rapid death. Symptoms of heatstroke must be recognized and treatment must be initiated rapidly.

Early symptoms of heatstroke include:
— labored breathing
— warm dry skin
— an anxious attitude
— profuse salivation.

As the condition progresses, the animal:
— develops a glazed look
— becomes unresponsive to external stimulation.

Looking inside the mouth, the tongue and gums have a bright red appearance. The heartbeat of the animal increases and if left untreated, he or she becomes weak and eventually collapses.

Immediate emergency care is required for an animal suffering from heatstroke. The animal should be placed in a bathtub filled with lukewarm water. If a tub is not available, the animal should wrapped in lukewarm damp towels (If towels are not immediately available, the pet should be hosed down). The water used to cool down the animal should be lukewarm, not cold. If the pet is responsive, small amounts of cool water should be offered to drink.

Heatstroke is an emergency. Call Island Trees Veterinary Hospital as soon as you detect any symptoms. Your pet should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

Heatstroke in Pets

Thursday, July 7th, 2016

Summer is a fun and exciting time of year. During the warm months, pets are less confined to the interior of the house and spend much more time outdoors. Special precautions must be taken to ensure that Rover and Kitty remain healthy and cool during the hot summer days.

Sweating It Out

Sweating is an efficient mechanism for cooling down an overheated body. The human body has millions of sweat glands located in the skin. When the body temperature is elevated, these glands secrete moisture (sweat) on the surface of the skin. Evaporation of this sweat is responsible for cooling down an overheated body.

Dogs and cats, unlike humans, do not cool off by sweating. Instead, they cool themselves by panting. Panting is the process of breathing in through the nose and breathing out through the mouth. As the air passes through the nose and mouth, some evaporation occurs. Panting is not as efficient as sweating, therefore pets have a difficult time coping with the summer heat.



Heatstroke is a serious problem and is a major cause of accidental death in dogs. A pet left in a hot car or an animal that has no shade or water can die from heatstroke in just a short period of time. When you travel with your pet, or if he’s left at home, plenty of cool, fresh, drinking water should be available at all times.

Certain animals are particularly sensitive to heatstroke. These include:

  • Young, old and overweight animals
  • Animals with shortened muzzles (Bulldogs, Pugs, Boxers, Pekinese, Lhasa Apsos, Shih Tzu, Boston Terriers, and Persian cats)
  • Animals with heart and / or respiratory problems
  • Animals with thick, heavy coats (particularly the northern or cold-breed animals)

Keeping Cool

During the hot summer months, pets should be kept cool. An outdoor doghouse or kennel should be well ventilated and located in the shade. Allowing a dog access to a child’s shallow wading pool, filled with an appropriate amount of clean water, is an excellent method for keeping Rover cool during the heat of the day.

Overexertion and intense exercise should be avoided during the middle part of the day. Long walks and heavy exercise should be reserved for the early morning and late afternoon. When taking Rover for a walk, remember that he does not wear shoes. Dogs’ paws are sensitive and burn easily on hot blacktop. Blacktop and other hot surfaces should be avoided.

Car Dangers

On warm sunny days, a pet should never be left unattended in an enclosed vehicle. If your pet absolutely must remain in the vehicle, the following precautions are recommended:

  • Completely open all windows and vents
  • The pet should remain in a well-ventilated cage or kennel
  • The vehicle should be parked in a shaded area, out of direct sunlight
  • Fresh water should be available
  • Return to the vehicle every 10-15 minutes to check up on him (her)

On a warm sunny day, the temperature inside a vehicle can reach 150 degrees within a period of 10-15 minutes. Trapped inside a hot vehicle, a pet can suffer from heatstroke and die very quickly.

If you have concerns about your pet this summer, please call Island Trees Veterinary Hospital for additional information.

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