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High heat threatens pet health in Las Vegas

Posted at 6:56 PM, Jul 12, 2019

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Under the bright blistering Las Vegas sun and oppressive heat of the day, man's best friend usually doesn't stand much of a chance.

Doctor Sara Ford, Specialist in Veterinary Internal Medicine at Blue pearl and Emergency Pet Hospital, said dogs are very susceptible to heat stroke.

She said heat stroke can be very painful for the animal even if they survive.

"Well, it's basically like sticking yourself in the oven and turning the heat on to 350," Ford said.

She said there will be several tell-tale signs that your pet is entering the early stages of heat stroke like excess panting, dark red gums or tongue, and getting delirious.

"You have to remember," Ford said, "animals are really, really tough. So, if they're showing you critical signs of a problem, they're probably sicker than you think."

People will need to catch the symptoms before their dog's internal body temperature rises above 105 degrees.

"If their temperature is 106 or above, then that's when we worry about, in 24 to 48 hours, having organ failure and not being able to ultimately save the pet," Ford said.

Water, shade, or air conditioning are the keys to avoiding heat stroke, but if someone isn't in a good position to provide that, in the event of a power outage for example, doggie daycares like Hot Diggity are spread throughout the valley to save the day.

"We have fun with them," daycare attendant Desiree Reimonenq said, "we have pools, peanut butter ice cubes."