Insolation in cats – Symptoms and first aid
Cats really enjoy being outdoors and feeling the heat of the sun’s rays on their bodies. This is why its favorite places with ceilings, balconies and terraces. Just like humans, and even if cats are accustomed to the sun, so much exposure could cause sunstroke.
In summer, which is when the sun is most inclement and temperatures tend to rise a lot, it is important to be attentive and measure the amount of sun that is absorbing the skin of our cat.
Let’s see in this new article, what is heat stroke in cats, what symptoms they present and first aid to take into account in case this happens.
Causes and risk factors of heat stroke in cats
Although cats are covered by thick fur, they can also be affected by long sun exposures. This star is very powerful and its rays affect virtually every creature on the planet. Heat stroke could represent a medical emergency and that should not be taken lightly.
Cats are susceptible to sunstroke, especially those cats, old cats and puppies, that are not able to regulate their temperature properly. Unable to eliminate the heat, cats begin to increase their body temperature alarmingly, and may even occur death.
It can especially affect cats that:
- They do not have a shelter in the shade
- They are locked in cars
- They are locked in houses
- They live in very hot places
- Those who suffer from heart disease
- Those who suffer from respiratory diseases
- With previous history of insolation
- Long haired cats
- Cats of dark color
Symptoms of insolation in cats
The symptoms that a cat is suffering from insolation are very evident, for that reason, it is very important to detect them from its first appearance, especially if the cat is a puppy or of advanced age. The symptoms of heat stroke in cats are:
- High body temperature
- Constant panting
- Foam in the mouth
- Dry gums
- White, very red or blue gums
- Difficult breathing
- Poor muscle coordination
- Abnormal heart rhythm
The cat could become slow and lazy. His breathing would accelerate and he would find it difficult to breathe. Cats can not perspire in the same way that people do. They depend totally on panting (which removes hot air from their body and invites the air to cool and cool) and of limited perspiration through the pads of their feet and nose. This is not enough for them so it makes them more sensitive to absorb more heat than normal, especially during periods of heat and humidity.
Also the mucous membranes of the gums will turn blue and your heart rate will increase. If your cat has physical symptoms, wobbles while walking or even vomits, it is clear that he is suffering from heatstroke. We must see a veterinarian as soon as possible.
Consequences of a prolonged exposure
If first aid and treatment are not applied promptly, the cat is susceptible to suffer consequences due to prolonged exposure to the sun and the symptoms of sunstroke. The severity will be directly related to the acting time and the physical state of the cat.
Among the milder consequences are the loss of salt and mild dehydration, but in the most severe we can notice acute dehydration, internal bleeding (which causes damage to multiple organs), kidney and liver failure, stroke, coma and even death of the cat.
First aid and treatment of sunstroke
If you see your cat and you find that he is suffering from heatstroke, the first thing you should do is knock him down in the shade, and then very delicately go spraying water at room temperature spray or apply warm water compresses 10 and 15 minutes. Never apply cold water at once or in a compress as it could suffer a shock. Talk to him and try to calm him down. Check if you have, and what kind of wounds and discomfort in the skin presents, wrap it with a soft and wet cloth, and go immediately to the vet.
Once you have checked the cat’s health status, you should take him to the vet as soon as possible. Explain beforehand by telephone how you are and if you must proceed in any way. Still, we recommend some of the basic first aid that can help you improve your health status:
- Keep your cat in a shaded area and protected from the sun.
- Check the rectal temperature of your cat at all times while applying the compresses and stop doing so when it exceeds 39ºC.
The heat must diminish slowly and gradually, do not forget that a drastic change can affect your internal organs badly.
The veterinary treatment to be applied will depend on the seriousness of the situation and the damage that the sunstroke has produced to the body of our cat. In the absence of specific treatment, the professional will act to alleviate the symptoms and conditions observed. The prognosis may or may not be favorable, depending on the damage.
Prevention of sunstroke
In always we aim first at prevention, this will help us to avoid future bad times with our pet. A sunstroke can be very unpleasant and in some cases very serious, so if your cat likes to expose himself to the sun, you must prepare both him and his environment.
Always have a drinking fountain with abundant fresh water. Place a cushion or a bed in an area of the house that is always cool, so, when you feel saturated with the sun, know that you have a area where you can relax in the shade and prevents you from accessing the sun during peak hours between 12: 00 and 17: 00 hours.
Burns due to sun exposure
Some cats have genetic defects that can predispose them to greater sensitivity in the skin, so that prolonged exposure could affect them to a greater degree. In some cases, exposing them too much to the sun could worsen existing conditions such as chronic conditions or autoimmune skin diseases and cutaneous parasitic infections.
In summary, the results of damage caused by the sun produce acute inflammation in the skin of the animal, which if they are very frequent, can lead to pre-cancerous situations, or failing that, skin tumors.
This condition is determined by degrees of intensity ranging from burning to the skin and if it is not protected and reduced, it could result in superficial partial burns that are usually first degree, partial deep burns (these are more rare and severe) and deep burns. , that extend throughout the skin and that can touch the internal tissue. In the second and third cases, the visit to the veterinarian is more than vital.
With partial burns the cat’s skin will take on a reddish tone, it will be irritated and sensitive to the touch. Even if it is superficial it does not mean that the animal does not feel discomfort and even pain. When a cat has symptoms of sunburn, it is important not to manipulate it too much. Deep partial burns cause in some cases blisters appear and your skin will be really red, this type of burn can penetrate the first layer of skin. Attentive to the status of your pet’s scalp.
This article is merely informative, in .com we do not have the faculty to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any kind of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian in case of any type of condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to Insolation in cats – Symptoms and first aid, we recommend that you enter in our First Aid section.