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Updated: April 26, 2014 10:37 IST

Stress on beating heat for pets

Kavita Kishore
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It is always advisable to keep your pets indoors to ensure their wellbeing from the rising mercury during summer. Photo: T. Singaravelou
The Hindu It is always advisable to keep your pets indoors to ensure their wellbeing from the rising mercury during summer. Photo: T. Singaravelou

When animals suffer from heat stress, the first thing to do is to try and reduce their body temperature.

With the mercury rising, many of us feel compelled to take a number of measures to beat the heat. It is not surprising then to learn that even our pets need special care during this season. No matter what kind of pet you have, they are bound to need special care during summer.

While there are some simple tips like keeping your pet indoors as much as possible and ensuring they are hydrated, pets are still susceptible to the heat, veterinarians say.

The most common thing that can affect all animals this season is a condition known as ‘Heat Stress.’

In mammals like dogs and cats, the most common symptoms of heat stress is profuse salivation, excessive panting, the animal being anxious and fast heart beat rates. In extreme cases, the animals will be unable to move and can even collapse, Veterinary officer from the Animal Husbandry Department S. Gandhimady said.

Even birds are prone to heat stress, so it is important to watch out for abnormal behaviour and the birds being unable to move. Sometimes they can even fall down, she said.

Another common problem that dog owners tend to face during the summer is ‘Epistaxis.’ Many dog owners come late in the evening with their dog bleeding profusely from the nose. This problem is especially common in hairy dogs like Pomeranians and Alsatians and is caused by heat. Protecting your pet from the heat will help them get through the season comfortably, K. Coumarane, Veterinary Officer of the Municipality said.

“One thing that is important to remember for your pet is to try and keep them indoors as much as possible. Many people keep their dogs tied up outside even during the summer, but this could be disastrous for the animals,” Dr. Prasenna from PetVets said.

The easiest way to combat this is to feed cold water to dogs and ensure that they are constantly hydrated. When animals suffer from heat stress, the first thing to do is to try and reduce their body temperature. Applying an ice pack to their forehead, neck and abdomen and encouraging them to drink water are critical.

It is only when the animals are hydrated properly that they will be able to eat during the summer, he said.

Keywords: pet careHeat Stress

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