With summer approaching and temperatures rising, it’s important to take better care of pets, says a veterinarian.
Dubai-based Dr Sara Elliott, British Veterinary Hospital’s director of veterinary services, is particularly concerned with the large number of short-nosed pets such as Bulldogs, Pekingese and Pug breeds and Persian and British Shorthair cats which she says, could be at risk when temperatures rise.
‘The rise in the number of short nosed breeds in the country is phenomenal and we expect to see a large number of this type of dogs and cats suffering exposure to the elements,’ she said.
Since March this year, the practice has already treated three dogs fallen foul of the heat. All are making a full recovery.
Most recently, a German Shepherd survived a case of heat exhaustion after returning from a walk at around 3pm.
The owners rushed her to the hospital after they found their pet could not stand and was collapsing.
At the hospital the couple was informed that the dog had a high temperature and heat stroke, which could have been fatal if there had been a further delay in bringing her in. The pet was cooled down with ice packs after which she began to recover. She was then put on a drip overnight.
According to Dr Elliott, although the afternoon was not sunny it was still very humid which is what caused the heat stroke.
Common repercussions in animals surviving heat-related incidents include heart failure and long-term damage to the brain, organs, hearing and sight, with some developing seizures, heart disease and changes in personality.
Top tips for keeping animals safe in the heat
Don’t let your pet walk on any surface you cannot put your palm on for more than 15 seconds
Never leave pets in a parked car for any amount of time in the heat
Don’t leave pets unattended at home for more than eight hours
Ensure your house help are trained and briefed when looking after your animals
Limit exercise times to evenings and mornings and only walk once long coats are trimmed
Don’t rely on a fan – pets do not sweat like us, so fans can have little effect
Provide ample shade and water when outside
Prepare for power issues by having a back up house to take your pet to in emergencies
Consider effective gadgets, such as cool mats and jackets
More information at britishvethospital.com