A rather hot fright for Gus's owners

Gus, a Pomeranian, presented to us at the clinic on a hot afternoon after his owners had come home to find that he had collapsed. Gus was gasping for air, blue in the gums and had a temperature of 42.5 degrees. It was obvious from this that he was suffering from heat exhaustion.

Gus was quickly placed onto oxygen, intravenous fluids and wrapped in cold towels in order to reduce his temperature. The fluid line was placed in ice water as well as ice packs around his body to further aid in reducing the dangerously high temperature. Gus' temperature was taken every two minutes and slowly began to decline, the oxygen therapy made his gum colour return to a healthy pink and his breathing efforts slowly reduced.

It was important to keep a close eye on his temperature as it is very important not to reduce the temperature too quickly as this could result in hypothermia. Within two hours Gus was breathing normally and his temperature was back to normal. He stayed in our hospital over night for further intravenous fluid therapy before heading home the next morning.

It is important on these hot summer days to ensure pets are kept cool, that they have shaded areas to go to and that they have plenty of fresh water available. It is also important on the very hot days that walking should be done in the early hours of the morning or late in the evening and not too much running and playing is done. Also remember taking your dog on a trip to the beach for a swim is great but hot sand can burn their little feet!