Heat Stroke in Cats: Know the Signs

Even though heatstroke is more common in dogs than in cats, cats can get it, and it is a life-threatening condition that requires immediate veterinary attention. Signs of heat stroke Panting or rapid breathing Restlessness Drooling Excessive grooming Sweaty paws Bright red gums and tongue Vomiting Stumbling Unresponsiveness High fever Collapse Extreme lethargy What to […]

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Beat The Heat – Heat Stroke And Your Dog

Some dogs don’t know how to keep their cool and with hot summer days, dog heat stroke can happen quickly. Because dogs do not sweat, the only way they can cool themselves is by panting. Their core temperature cools when the moisture on their tongue evaporates. When a dog gets too hot, they cannot pant quickly enough to bring their body temperature down and heat stroke usually occurs. If a dog’s core temperature climbs over 106 degrees, death or organ damage can occur if something isn’t done quickly to bring his temperature back down to normal.

Outward Hound Cool-it Bandana - LARGE
Outward Hound Cool-it Bandana – LARGE

If you plan on taking your dog for a walk, be sure to provide him with water; and, if possible, tie a bandana that has been soaked in cool water around his neck to help him beat the heat.
Excessive drooling with thick saliva hanging from the mouth, panting hard and fast, and listlessness or the inability to stand or walk are all signs of heat stroke. It is important if heat stroke is suspected that you cool your dog down as quickly as possible. Get him inside, out of the heat and if possible give him a cool bath. A trip to your veterinarian may be necessary if your dog does not seem to respond to these steps.

Since preventing dog heat stroke is your best option, it is important for your dog to have plenty of shade with good ventilation. It is also very important that your dog have a lot of cool water available.


Heat stroke can affect any dog, but the brachy-cephalic dogs with short faces, such as Boston, Pugs, and Bulldogs may be at higher risk due their inability to effectively pant and cool themselves. Older dogs sometimes have more trouble with temperature regulation as well as young puppies.

Many people believe that their pet will be fine outdoors. However, inadequate shade and/or water can affect even the most seasoned outdoor dog. Water left outside in the sun can heat up to hot for them to drink. Outdoor water fountains for dogs can help provide fresh cool water and dog houses can help with the shade.
If you like to take your dog for a walk, but the concrete is too hot, or he is a small dog and walks just plain tire him out, you may try one of the dog strollers.

Surprisingly, heat stroke in cats is very rare.   Most animal experts believe that cats are extremely good at finding the coolest spots to lay and also avoid the excessive, exertions that many dogs seem to thrive on.

If you find your dog panting excessively on a warm summer day, immediately move your dog into a cooler place. Getting the pet into a shady area with a fan running on him or just bring him indoors. Rinse your dog with cool, not cold, tap water over his legs and body to help effectively lower the body temperature. Rubbing alcohol placed on the skin of the stomach, will help cool him also. Do not use ice or extremely cold water.  Although it seems logical, extreme cold will cause surface blood vessels to contract, forming an insulating area that traps heat in the body, delaying the cooling of the vital organs. At the veterinary hospital, fluids are administered intravenously to help cool the core temperature and keep the kidneys from shutting down.

Attempting to force your pet to drink is also not recommended. If you suspect your dog is suffering from heat stroke, immediately load your pet carefully into a car and go to the veterinarian. Under no circumstances should you leave your pet alone in the vehicle.

Without these life saving steps, many dogs might lose their lives to the “dog-days” of summer. But, as Snickers will testify, quick thinking owners and veterinary professionals can help get them back on their feet in no time.

Seizures in Pets

Seizures in petsSeizures are a neurological anomaly that may occur in some pets. They are caused by a wide variety of reasons and may manifest differently from animal to animal. Seizures, although frequently frightening for the owners, can often be managed by medication once properly diagnosed. This handout will provide general information on the description, causes and solutions for seizure disorders in pets.

Seizures, often called convulsions or fits, will manifest themselves differently in each animal. It is important to remember, that while frightening for the owner, your pet does not feel any pain during the episode. And contrary to popular belief, your pet will not swallow its tongue during a seizure episode. In fact, you are more likely to be bitten severely if you try to force anything into the animals mouth. The only precaution that you should take is to make sure that your pet is not in danger of falling or striking a limb or its head on anything during the episode. After the seizure is complete, take time to observe and comfort your pet as they may be disoriented.

As seizures appear differently in each animal, it is best to look for some of the common signs:

  1. Sporadic muscle contractions over the entire body
  2. Falling to the side with a drawn back position of the head and neck
  3. Loss or semi-loss of consciousness
  4. Involuntary vomiting, salivation, urination or defecation
  5. Changes in mental awareness from unresponsive staring to hallucinations
  6. Behavioral changes including panting, pacing, odd running patterns, extreme docility, extreme viciousness and not recognizing known individuals

During the seizure, your pet will experience three different stages. The first stage of a seizure is called the pre-ictal or aura phase. During this phase your pet may exhibit a wide range of behavioral changes. These changes may include hiding, whining, nervousness, shaking and many others. This stage may continue for a few seconds to a few hours. It is important to remember, however, that some pets do not experience or manifest any signs of this phase.

The second phase to a seizure is the ictal phase. This phase may last from a few seconds to five minutes and is the period in which the body convulses and displays the typical signs of a seizure described above. If the seizure lasts longer than five minutes, it is known as prolonged seizure or status. Status is a severe and extreme seizure condition and you should seek immediate medical attention.

The third phase of the seizure is known as the post-ictal phase. This phase may include changes in mental awareness, confusion, restlessness and temporary blindness. This phase varies by pet in length, symptoms and severity.

Seizures may be caused by many different factors and they are often indicators of other physical problems. The most common cause of seizures in pets is epilepsy. A common form of epilepsy is caused by the rapid over-stimulation of the neurons in the brain. This over-stimulation may be caused from a head injury or may be genetic and inherited from birth. However, seizures may also be a side effect and indicator of other physical problems. These problems may include brain tumors, poisoning, low blood sugar, nerve or muscle problems and organ disease.

Depending on the frequency and severity of your pets seizures, it may be started on oral medications to help control the seizures. Once started, however, these medications must be given reliably, for the rest of the pets life. Therefore, your veterinarian will do careful screening and testing before placing your pet on these medications. It is important to remember that your pets seizure disorder is a manageable condition and many pets live long, happy and rewarding lives with epilepsy.

Medicating Your Cat

Medicating your catHaving to give your cat medication is not a task most pet owners look forward to performing. However, in order for your pet to get well it is important that they receive their medication. This handout includes some tips that will, hopefully, make medicine time a more enjoyable experience for both you and your pet.

The easiest way to medicate your pet is usually going to be to hide the pill in food. However, pets are finicky and this technique may not work.

Some pets are not able to take a pill in a tasty treat due to dietary restrictions. Other pets are simply tricksters to maneuvering around the pill and spitting it out. For these pets it may be necessary to manually administer the pill. To give a pill by mouth for your cat, follow these easy steps:

  • Gather the correct dose of the medication and place it in a quick and easily accessible location.
  • Lubricate the medication with a small amount of butter or margarine. This will allow the pill to slide smoothly down your pets throat.
  • Bring your pet to a safe location where you can comfortably control his movements
  • Hold the pill between your thumb and index finger
  • From above, grasp the cats head and muzzle with the hand not holding the pill. Your grasp should be placed so that your thumb and fingers are on opposite sides of the mouth behind the canine teeth. Be very careful not to get your fingers directly between teeth.
  • Using a firm, but gentle, grip tilt your pets head toward the ceiling. If the mouth does not drop open, use your ring and pinkie fingers of the hand holding the pill to press down on the lower teeth between the canines.
  • When the mouth is open, quickly place the pill on the back of the tongue. The pill will be swallowed quickest if it is placed behind the arch of the tongue. However, avoid putting the pill to far down your pets throat as you may stimulate the gag reflex.
  • Close your pets mouth and hold it closed while lowering the head back to a normal position. If your pet does not automatically swallow the pill, then gently rub the underside of its throat, and lightly blow on or rub its nose. These actions will stimulate a swallow reflex in your pet.
  • Closely observe your pet after performing this procedure to make sure that the pill is not regurgitated or spit out.
  • Remember, throughout the entire procedure to offer praise and encouragement. And when the pill is swallowed, lavish your cat with praise.

Seizures in Cats

Seizures in Cats

Seizures are a neurological aberrations that can occur in some pets. They are caused by a variety of reasons and can vary from animal to animal. Seizures, but often scary for the owners, can often be controlled by medication once properly diagnosed. This handout will provide general information about the description, causes and solutions to epileptic seizures in dogs and cats.

Seizures will manifest itself differently in each animal. It is important to remember that even frightening to the owner, your pet does not feel any pain during the episode. And contrary to popular belief, your pet will not swallow his tongue during a seizure episode. In fact, you’re more likely to be bitten if you try to put something in the pet’s mouth. The only precaution you need to do is make sure that your pet is not in danger of  falling or hitting a leg or his head on something during the incident. After the seizure has finished, take the time to observe and comfort your pet since they can become disoriented.

As seizures may appear in any animal, it is best to look for some of the common symptoms:

1. Sporadic muscle contractions throughout the body
2 Falling to the side with a drawn back position of the head and neck
3. Loss or semi-loss of consciousness
4. Involuntary vomiting, salivation, urination or bowel movements
5; Changes in mental awareness from non-staring or seeming to hallucinate

6. Behavioral changes such as panting, pacing, ,fly-biting, extreme docility, extreme agitation, aggression  or does not recognize family members

During the attack, your pet will experience three different phases. First stage of a seizure is called the pre-ictal or aura phase. In this phase, your pet may exhibit a wide range of behavioral changes. These changes may include hiding, vocalizing, nervousness, tremors, and many others. This stage may continue for a few seconds to a couple of hours. It is important to remember, but that some animals do not experience or manifest any sign of this phase.

 

The second phase of  a seizure is the  ictal phase. This phase can last from several seconds to five minutes and the period during which the body is tense and gives the typical symptoms of an attack as described above. If the seizure lasts longer than five minutes, it is known as a prolonged seizure or status epileptics. Status epileptics  is a serious and extreme seizure condition and you should see a veterinarian immediately.

The third phase of the seizure is known as post-ictal phase. This phase may include changes in mental awareness, disorientation, restlessness and temporary blindness. This phase varies in length from pets, symptoms and severity.

Seizures may be caused by numerous factors and are often indicators of other physical problems. The most common cause of seizures in pets is epilepsy. A common form of epilepsy caused by the rapid over-stimulation of neurons in the brain. This over-stimulation can be caused by a head injury or may be genetic and inherited from birth. Can attack but also an indicator of side effect and other physical problems. These problems can include brain tumors, poisoning, hypoglycemia, nerve or muscle problems and organ disease.

Depending on the frequency and severity of your pet seizures, it may be treated with oral medications to help control the seizures. Once started, but these drugs must be monitored  and administered for the rest of the pets life. Therefore, your veterinarian will do careful screening and testing before putting your pet on these drugs. It is important to remember that your pet’s seizures is often a manageable condition and many animals live long, happy and fruitful life with epilepsy.