Protect your pet from heat stroke

Because of the extreme heat and humidity, we are seeing more patients presenting with severe heat stroke. Please read the document below and share with your pet owning friends and neighbors. We want to prevent the risk of heat stroke in South Florida and the best way to address this crisis, is for pet owners to be informed about the risks.


The combination of high temperature, high humidity and poor ventilation can be fatal to dogs and cats.  Dogs and cats do not sweat as people do.  Thus, the cooling benefits of water evaporation from the skin are not available to them.  Panting and radiation of heat from the skin surface are their main means of controlling body temperature.  If the air temperature and humidity are high and air circulation is reduced, these protective mechanisms are inadequate.  Body temperature can then increase dramatically, resulting in collapse and severe shock.  Animals not treated promptly may die.


All dogs are susceptible to heat stroke.  However, particularly susceptible are the very young, older pets, overweight pets, animals that are ill, and emotionally stressed pets.  However, those with short pushed-in noses, such as Pugs, Bulldogs, Persians, Pekingese, and Boxers are very susceptible to heat stroke since their restricted breathing doesn’t allow enough air exchange for rapid heat loss. The sooner that you seek medical attention the more chances of saving your pet from a very painful death.


  • Provide plenty of fresh water for your pet(s) at all times.
  • Never leave pets in parked vehicles or hot garages.
  • Provide adequate ventilation and shade for outdoor pets.
  • Avoid excessive exercise. Do not play outside, or take dog to dog park when there is high humidity and temperatures are high.
  • Avoid walking, running (exercising) your pets during peak sun hours.

Signs of Heat Stroke:

  • Profuse panting and salivation.
  • Staring or anxious expression.
  • Fatigue, muscle weakness or collapse.
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Failure to respond to commands.

Please remember that if you have an emergency with your pet, we are fully staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.  SVRC/The Pet Emergency Room.




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