Pet Dehydration and Heatstroke

What Are the Signs of Dehydration?

Dehydration occurs when your pet does not have enough water or electrolytes. Left untreated, mild dehydration can progress to a more severe form, which could result in organ failure and death. Recognizing signs of dehydration and treating your pet immediately can prevent serious consequences of this condition.

One way to check for dehydration is by looking at your pet’s gums. Gently press the pink part of your pet’s gums until the spot turns white. If the color does not return at once to the area, your pet is dehydrated and needs water at once. You can also check for signs of dehydration by checking how your pet’s skin elasticity is. The skin on your pet’s neck should immediately return to normal after gently pinching it. Your pet’s level of dehydration directly correlates to how long it takes the skin to return to normal.

What Are the Symptoms of Pet Heatstroke?

Pet heatstroke occurs when the animal’s body temperature gets dangerously high, above 103 degrees Fahrenheit. This can happen in hot weather as well as from a fever. While all animals could get heatstroke, long-haired and flat-faced dogs are more likely to have problems with heat than cats and short-haired dogs. Regardless of your pet’s features, you need to watch for signs of heatstroke, which can indicate an emergency situation. Some signs of pet heatstroke are the following:

  • Panting
  • Dehydration
  • Drooling
  • Unsteadiness
  • Fainting
  • Reduced Urination
  • Seizures

How to Prevent Heat Illnesses and Dehydration

Always have plenty of fresh water available for your pet all year long. Hot weather is not the only cause of dehydration. Windy, dry weather, or a fever can lead to dehydration for your pet.

To keep your pet from experiencing heat or dehydration problems, provide plenty of water at all times. Never leave your pet outside during extremely hot or cold weather. And never, ever lock your pet inside your car, even for a few minutes. Despite comfortable temperatures outside, your vehicle’s interior can quickly turn into an oven and that can sicken your pet inside.

What to Do If Your Pet Has a Heat Illness or Dehydration
For dehydration, give your pet water at once. Call our veterinarian to see if your pet needs an electrolyte drink or if water will suffice. If you cannot get your pet to drink or if it appears listless, bring it at once to our animal hospital.

For heatstroke, call our animal hospital as you bring in your pet. With pet heatstroke, you cannot treat the condition at home. We offer emergency care for serious conditions like dehydration and heatstroke.

Contact Our Veterinarian

If you suspect your pet has heatstroke or is severely dehydrated, contact Nall Hills Animal Hospital at 913-341-8836 so that our Overland Park veterinarian can prepare a room to start treatment as soon as you arrive. Pet dehydration and heatstroke are serious conditions that require prompt care.