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Yorktown Vet Advises Moderation During Hot Temps

Blazing temperatures may have left you  panting in the heat – a good reminder that your four-legged friends also need special care to stay healthy in hot weather.

Dr. Steven Kasanofsky, the owner and veterinarian at Yorktown Animal Hospital, said he hasn’t seen any cases of heat stroke in animals this summer, though he certainly has in the past.

A big mistake pet owners can make is leaving animals in the car when the weather is warm.

“Even if the windows are open, or it’s only for a few minutes—you can’t do it,” Kasanofsky said. “They just can’t handle it.”

The best ways to keep your pet comfortable during the hottest times are the same steps humans take to keep safe—drink plenty of water, stay in the shade when necessary and don’t become overexerted.

You don’t have to abandon all exercise and play-time routines with your pet, Kasanofsky said, just do things in moderation.

“You can certainly still exercise the animals to keep them fit and healthy, but do it at the cooler times in the day,” he said. “Pay attention to the time of the day. Just do things at a time so you are adjusting to the temperature.”

Excessive panting, extremely red mucus membranes such as gums and exhaustion can all be signs of heat stroke, said Kasanofsky. This can lead to collapse or brain swelling, which can also lead to fatalities.

“A common mistake people tend to make is they say ‘…the dog is having heat stroke’ and they bathe them in ice water. You will change their body temperature too fast if you do that, so use tepid water and then get them to the vet,” he said. “A lot of its common sense. Just do things in moderation.”

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