Pet owners can prepare for the holiday weekend with a few tips from the staff at ACCESS Specialty Animal Hospitals-Palm Beach County.
All too often, pet owners arrive at the hospital with their cat or dog suffering from a medical emergency during holiday weekends, especially on the Fourth of July. Cats and dogs make their way to the emergency room during this time of year with heat stroke, signs of extreme anxiety, and wounds from trauma endured if they escape their safe space due to loud fireworks.
There are a few things that pet owners can do to prevent heat stroke during the day and fireworks anxiety at night.
During the day, keep your pets in shaded areas when outside. Try to avoid taking your pets to events outside during the hottest times of the day from noon to 5 p.m. Make cold water available to your pets before, during and after your daytime excursions.
Keep a close eye on your cat or dog during the day while outside and look for any possible signs of your pet overheating. Signs of heatstroke are excessive panting, increased heart rate, confusion, disorientation, vomiting, diarrhea, bright red gums, body temperature higher than 104 degrees, collapse, seizure or coma.
If your pet does have signs of overheating, run cool water over your pet and immediately take your cat or dog to the closest emergency pet hospital. This will help your pet’s recovery process improve dramatically. Avoid ice-cold water if you are attempting to cool down your pet.
If you know your pet suffers from anxiety from loud noises, especially fireworks, contact your local veterinarian to discuss anxiety medication for your pet as a preventive measure. It is best to contact them in advance to give your pet’s doctor enough time to respond to your request.
Create a comfortable space for your pets with blankets and hiding spots. If you can stay with your pet during this time, that is recommended. Secure all doors and windows to prevent your pet from escaping when loud noises frighten them.
Do not put anything in your pet’s ears to try and muffle loud noises. Play calming music to help soothe your pet.
“Prevention and quick thinking are the best care you can give your pets during this time of year,” said veterinarian Dr. Eba Kim and Taelor Assen, a fourth-year veterinary extern at ACCESS Specialty Animal Hospital-Palm Beach County.
When your pets are sick or injured, treatment usually begins with your veterinarian. Occasionally, pets require a referral for Advanced Critical Care, Emergency and Specialty Services (ACCESS).
At ACCESS, emergency-trained doctors, board-certified veterinary specialists and veterinary nurses provide the diagnostic evaluation, treatment and 24-hour care in a state-of-the-art animal hospital with interconnected technology enabling real-time collaboration between medical teams to provide the highest level of pet care.
ACCESS is located at 10465 Southern Blvd. in Royal Palm Beach. For more info., visit www.accessvetsflorida.com.