Keeping Your Pets Safe This Summer

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It's easy to spend the long, sunny days of summer outside, playing with your pet.

But they're not going to tell you it's too hot, and veterinarians warn your furry friends might not quit playing, until they're absolutely over heated.

"They get hotter and hotter and then they get to a point where they're in heat stroke," said Dr. Thomas Cargill.
He has been taking care of Brazos Valley pets for 34 years.

"It can be fatal, it sure can," added Cargill.

Several animals have already been brought into his El Cerrito Animal Clinic for heat related issues.

Dr. Cargill said, "By the time they got them here, they were in pretty good shape, I mean, they're better...they're jogging with their dog and sometimes it just got a little too much for them."

A normal temperature for dogs and cats is between 100 and 102 degrees.

"If they start getting up around 104, 105, and then you hit's too hot," Cargill said.

Panting is how our furry friends cool themselves, but Dr. Cargill says Texas has extremely high heat and humidity, which prevents evaporation from their tongue--so, it's important to recognize the signs of heat stroke.

Panting, excessive salivating, muscle tremors and ataxia, or a lack of coordination, are all red flags.

"I've got three dogs at home, they stay outside all day long, but they are in an environment where there's lots of shade," said Cargill. "{You} have to be careful with them, in the exposure...they can get sunburned."

Plenty of fresh water and adequate ventilation also helps keep them cool.

Cargill said, "You could even use rubbing alcohol...under their...front legs and the groin area and that will evaporate and help them cool too."

The sizzling summer temperatures are going to continue to climb, but you can help the number of pets suffering from heat stroke continue to decline.

If your animal does suffer from heat stroke, it can cause major health problems like liver and tissue damage and kidney failure.