Edgewood Animal Clinic

1708 East Edgewood Drive
Lakeland, FL 33803




Heat Alert



TEMPERATURE'S RISING....THE HEAT IS ON! Enjoy a safe summer with your pet.

As the Florida temperatures begin to increase we want your awareness of the dangers of hyperthermia (over heated temperature) in your dog to also increase. Automobile windows cracked or rolled down provide insufficient air flow needed to maintain a safe temperature for your dog, even in the briefest moments.

Another way your dog can become over heated is from exercising, such as walks, when the sidewalk temperature has not cooled down sufficiently.  The pavements your pet walks on can retain heat much longer than the external temperature around you. If the air temperature registers 80 degrees the pavement can radiate that into 85 to 95 degrees for hours after the sun has set.  Most pets are closer to this source of heat than owners walking them and can overheat rapidly as the walk progresses. ( Just imagine crawling around the lake instead of walking!!) Place your hand on that sidewalk and you'll experience what the dog's feet are feeling. 

Outdoor pets are at risk if they cannot reach shade with sufficient airflow throughout the day. Dog houses are not cool enough unless adequate ventilation is provided. Pets that are chained need to have numerous water bowls available that are not in direct sunlight and cannot be spilled. Any obstructions such as tables, bushes or trees need to be out of reach from chain getting stuck or wrapped around obstacle keeping dog from shade or water because of entanglement.  Enclosed structures such as screened porches need ceiling or floor fans for continuous circulation.

Various symptoms and results of Hyperthemia in dogs are:

Panting, dehydration, excessive drooling, reddened gums and moist tissues of the body, production of only small amounts of urine or no urine, sudden kidney failure, rapid and irregular heart rate, shock, stoppage of the heart and breathing, fluid build-up in the lungs, blood-clotting disorder(s), vomiting blood, small pinpoint areas of bleeding, breakdown of red-muscle tissue, death of liver cells, changes in mental status, seizures, muscle tremors, wobbly, incoordinated or drunken gait or movement, unconsciousness in which the dog cannot be stimulated to be awakened.

In many cases patients need to be hospitalized until their temperature is stabilized, and may even need intensive care for several days if organ failure has occurred.  The sooner your pet begins treatment the better. Trying to attempt temperature reversal at home may be damaging also for gradual decreases are required. Bringing the pets' temperature down too low can result in other problems. Complications, such as a blood-clotting disorder, kidney failure, or fluid build-up in the brain will need to be immediately and thoroughly treated. Therefore, it is imperative to seek professional help immediately.

Edgewood Animal Clinic recommends keeping pets inside throughout the heat of the day, generally from 10:00a.m. until evenings after 7:00p.m. If taking walks assure you have portable water bowls and that it is cool enough pavement for your pets' safety. NEVER leave your animal in the car, regardless of time and shade through the HOT months of spring and summer.  Outdoor "kiddie pools" are great for your larger pets to relax in. Keep all water changed daily.