Milan vets warn of heat danger for pets

Animals are also suffering from the heat-wave.

Milan province order of veterinarians reminds pet owners that their four-footed friends can suffer serious danger during the current heat-wave.

Cats and dogs in particular are in danger because they do not sweat, so they keep their body temperature down by gasping or panting. Their normal temperature is around 38.5 to 39°C, but panting isn’t always enough to keep it under control. If their temperature rises beyond 40.5°C they can be in serious trouble.

Causes for overheating include lack of shade, no access to cool water, muzzles which prevent them from putting out their tongue and panting, intense physical exercise, obesity and old age, and of course being shut in a car, even with the windows open. Dogs particularly at risk are those with short, flattened muzzles like Pekineses, pugs and boxers.

Symptoms to watch for are when the pet is unsettled or staggering, or unable to stand. If it is also producing froth from the mouth or nose, or its gums turn blue or bright red it is in serious danger

Vets recommend taking the pet at once into a fresh and well ventilated position. Putting cool, damp cloths on the collar, armpits and groin can bring relief, as will dampening the ears and paws with fresh water, and aiming a fan at the damp areas to help evaporation.

Avoid using cold or iced water, say the vets. Don’t try to force the pet to drink and don’t try to cool it off too suddenly: above all take it to the nearest vet as soon as possible.

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