Pet Dehydration and Heatstroke

The danger of dehydration and heatstroke are as real for your furry friends as it is for you, maybe more so. If you are concerned about pet dehydration, then the Animal Hospital of Loves Park wants to help you and your fur babies. We serve the areas around Loves Park including Roscoe, Machesney Park, and Rockford.

dog eating out of his food bowl

How Pet Dehydration & Heatstroke Happens

Like humans, all mammals depend on water to keep their bodies functioning at optimal levels. When the body loses more fluid than it is taking in pet dehydration can happen. Water is essential to life. Some of water’s functions within the body include:

  • Flushing wastes from the body
  • Regulating body temperature
  • Lubricating joints
  • Transporting nutrients throughout the body

Throughout the day, an animal loses some water naturally through activities such as breathing, defecating, panting, urinating, and evaporation through the paws. This fluid loss is generally compensated for by drinking and eating. If their body passes the point where these activities can replace the water lost they may suffer dehydration. If left unchecked, this dehydration can spiral into heatstroke, permanent damage to organs, and eventually death.

Dehydration can be a sign of a more serious condition like certain cancers, kidney disease, diabetes, and more. You will only know for sure by having your pet examined by a veterinarian.

Signs of Pet Dehydration

There are some common symptoms of pet dehydration that you should know. These include:

  • Panting
  • Reduced energy levels
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dry nose and gums
  • Loss of skin elasticity
  • Dry-looking sunken eyes

Signs of Pet Heatstroke

The most common cause of pet heatstroke is carelessness. Leaving your pet in a car on a hot or sunny day, failing to consider your pet’s access to shade, or allowing your pet to go without fresh cool water for too long. The symptoms include:

  • Increased salivation
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Bright red tongue
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Pale gums
  • Sticky thick saliva
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

If left unchecked or untreated, heatstroke in your pet can also cause cardiac arrest, seizures, and coma. It can also lead to permanent organ damage and even death.

When to Take Your Pet to the Veterinarian

Anytime your pet exhibits symptoms of dehydration or heatstroke it is important to take them to the veterinarian. Some can be cooled down with external methods such as a cold bath and using air conditioning. However, some pets require blood pressure support, intravenous fluids, and other advanced treatment that only a licensed vet can provide.

Schedule an Appointment Today With Animal Hospital of Loves Park!

To find out more or schedule an appointment, give our friendly knowledgeable staff at Animal Hospital of Loves Park a call at (815)986-4445, stop by our offices in beautiful Loves Park Illinois, or use our easy online appointment request today!

New Patients Receive a FREE Exam on Your First Visit ($35 Value)

Call us at 815-986-4445 to take advantage of this exclusive offer.

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Read What Our Clients Say

  • "Dr.Amin is AMAZING!!! His staff is always so kind and friendly. My animals love the staff, except for King Leo. He doesn't like anyone though so that's to be expected. The entire staff here are amazing. I wouldn't trust my animals to anyone else."
    Morgan Robinson
  • "Dr. Amin and the staff are great. He saved my dog Buddy's life and gave him 3extra years with us. They've been great to our pets"
    John Falcetta

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