Heatstroke is a serious condition that can lead to rapid death. Symptoms of heatstroke must be recognized and treatment must be initiated rapidly.
Early symptoms of heatstroke are labored breathing, warm dry skin, an anxious attitude, and profuse salivation. As the condition progresses, the animal develops a glazed look, and is somewhat unresponsive to external stimulation. Looking inside the mouth, the tongue and gums have a bright red appearance. The heartbeat of the animal increases and if left untreated, he (she) becomes weak and eventually collapses.
Immediate emergency care is required for an animal suffering from heatstroke. The animal should be placed in a bathtub filled with lukewarm water. If a tub is not available, the animal should wrapped in lukewarm damp towels (If towels are not immediately available, the pet should be hosed down). The water used to cool down the animal should be lukewarm, not cold. If the pet is responsive, small amounts of cool water should be offered to drink.
When the animal is cooled down, he (she) must be taken to a veterinary hospital. Intravenous fluid therapy is often required for animals with heatstroke.
The most common cause of poisoning in dogs and cats is from insecticides. Presently there are more than 25,000 insecticides registered for use in the United States. Insecticides used to control fleas on pets cause the majority of poisonings.
Some animals are overly sensitive to flea products (insecticides used to control fleas) and in other instances the pet owner does not use these products according to instructions. Insecticides can be absorbed through the skin, inhaled through the lungs, or ingested. Cats often ingest topical flea products during grooming.
Overstimulation of the nervous system is the most common symptom of insecticide poisoning. Early symptoms include excessive salivation, uneasiness and a change in personality. As the condition progresses, muscle tremors, change in pupil size (contracted pupils), vomiting and diarrhea occurs. Eventually, if poisoning is severe, stiffness, paralysis, and seizures are common. Death occurs from cardiovascular and respiratory failure. Clinical symptoms generally progress rapidly and persist for days and even weeks.
Before using any insecticides on your pet (flea products in particular) talk to your veterinarian for advice. Most veterinary hospitals sell flea products that are safe, reliable, and effective.
Insecticide poisoning is a medical emergency and immediate veterinary care is required. If insecticide poisoning is suspected, the animal should be rushed to a veterinary hospital or animal emergency center.