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Heatstroke is a real risk during summer in the tropics. Caused by the elevation of core body temperature, heatstroke results in heat injury to the bodies tissues and is a life threatening condition. Pay close attention to short nosed breeds such as Bulldogs and Pugs etc, heavy coated breeds and pets with heart or respiratory problems in hot weather as they are more at risk of heat stroke.

During the summer months it’s essential to ensure your pet has access to fresh cool drinking water and shady areas so they can retreat out of the summer heat.

Our other top tips for keeping your pet cool include:

  1. Add ice cubes to their water to keep it cool.
  2. Keep your pet inside in air conditioning or close to a fan is best in extreme heatwaves.
  3. Dampen your pets blanket to create a cool resting spot to sleep or purchase a cooling mat or jacket.
  4. Bathing in lukewarm water will instantly cool them down.
  5. Doggy paddling pools are awesome at assisting you in keeping your pets cool and entertained on a hot summer’s day.
  6. Pupsicles! Frozen treats are a great way to cool down and keep your pets occupied. Get creative, stuff a Kong or treat dispenser with delicious treats and then freeze.
  7. Slip Slop Slap! Slip on a UV shirt. Slop on sunscreen especially if your pet is smooth/thin haired or has white coloured ears or nose and slap on some doggles to protect the eyes. Not only will your pet look super cool they will be protected from skin cancers too!
  8. Never ever leave your pet in the car! Even a few minutes whilst you nip into the shop for that last minute gift can be deadly.
  9. Be mindful of the intensity of the summer heat and schedule your dog walks for sunrise and sunset rather than in the middle of the day. Walk your pooch on grass rather than hot concrete to avoid burning their paw pads. Always remember to carry a water bottle and collapsible bowl to prevent dehydration.

It’s important for pet parents to be aware of the symptoms of heatstroke and seek veterinary immediate attention if their pet is showing any signs of distress. 

Signs of heatstroke include excessive panting, dark or bright red tongue and gums, staggering, lethargy, seizures, rapid heartbeat and bloody diarrhea or vomiting.

These signs may not appear immediately, but come on a few hours after exercise.

Heatstroke can be fatal so if your pet begins to show any symptom, early diagnosis and treatment gives them the best chance of recovery. Don’t delay contact Cairns Vet Clinic day or night on 4032 9999


Cairns Veterinary Clinic is proud to have been caring for Cairns furry family members since 1966. With 2 convenient locations, Pease Street and Norman Street, Gordonvale, their clinics are staffed by a great team of hard working and dedicated veterinary professionals who treat your pets as if they are their own.  With a vet available 24/7 365 days per year, they are always here when you need them. Contact their friendly staff for all your pet’s healthcare needs.