Heat exhaustion prevalent in pets during cooling temperatures

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- The summer months might be slowly coming to an end, but this is the time that pet owners need to be extra cautious of heat exhaustion and heatstroke in their pets.

Dr. Dawn Tucker, and associate veterinarian at Animal Emergency & Critical Care says they most of the cases in the spring and the fall as temperatures outside begin to cool off some because we have such high humidity.

A normal body temperature for a dog is between 100.5 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit.

"I put heat exhaustion in the body temperature of 103 to 106 and then anything over 106 is heat stroke," says Dr. Tucker.

Dogs eliminate heat by panting and sweating slightly from their paws. When this isn't enough to cool down the dog's temperature, it can get worse.

Dr. Tucker says excessive panting and signs of discomfort indicate overheating in dogs. Other signs include drooling, reddened gums, vomiting, diarrhea, mental dullness or loss of consciousness, uncoordinated movement, and collapse.

"They need to get their pet to the shade, offer water, get a fan on them, air conditioning if possible, cool towels between the legs, cool water on the flaps of the ears," says Dr. Tucker.

One pet owner was passionate about taking care of pets. "If you really care about your fur babies, then do them a favor and really look after them," says Terese Stevens. "They can't tell you if they're feeling bad."

This doesn't mean to never bring your pet outside. But when you do, whether the pet is taking a stroll, fetching a ball, or just resting outside, be sure to look for the signs and take action if needed.

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