We remain open to provide care for your pets. We are following the direction of government and regulatory authorities and have implemented hospital and visit protocols to keep both you and our team safe. For regular updates on our hours and visit protocols, please follow our social media platforms.

Hot Dog! Heatstroke & Hyperthermia in Our Companion Animals

Summer is finally here, and as the temperatures begin to rise, it is important that we keep all of our pets cool and comfortable. As people, we can change our clothes, turn on the air conditioning, or have a cool shower to cool ourselves down. Our pets are often limited to how they can dissipate heat from their bodies. Dogs will often pant to cool themselves down, while cats may lick their fur or sweat through the pads of their feet. Each of these behaviours to help regulate their core body temperature. However, when the temperature rises significantly, or our pets are incapable of escaping the heat from their environment. These coping mechanisms are often overwhelmed, and clinical hyperthermia can ensue.
Hyperthermia in dogs and cats is typically consistent with a body temperature higher than 103°F (39°C), while clinical heatstroke may be noted when temperatures rise above 106°F/41°C.

Overheating of the body leads to thermal damage of the cells, which, if left untreated, can lead to multisystemic organ dysfunction. Heatstroke is more commonly seen in dogs than cats but can occur in any species. Overweight animals, with pre-existing medical conditions (ex. Brachycephalic breeds or animals with congestive heart failure), are predisposed to developing heatstroke.

Heatstroke may be triggered by:

  • Being locked in a car without adequate ventilation.
  • Excessively hot environmental temperature.
  • Inability to access shade.
  • Over-exertion and excessive exercise.
  • Restricted access to water.

It is important to keep a close eye on your pet, to allow you to catch any signs of heatstroke: Panting, excessive drooling, high heart rate, dullness, muscle tremors, weakness.

Once you have acknowledged possible heatstroke in your pet, the first thing you need to do is to remove them from the source of excessive heat and find a safe way to cool them down. Spray or immerse them in water by soaking towels in cold water and rolling them under armpits and groin help to cool the major external blood vessels. Convection cooling with fans is also useful to help bring down their temperature. Avoid using ice, as it tends to constrict the peripheral veins and prevents the circulation of blood to the extremities. Give access to fresh, cool water, and keep in a cool shaded area while you transport them to your nearest veterinary clinic.

Patients should be closely monitored during the cooling down period, and for the following 24hrs as one episode of hyperthermia predisposes an animal to future episodes. If you have a rectal thermometer at home, use it to take regular temperatures, and to make sure you avoid causing hypothermia by excessive cooling.

In any case, prevention is better than cure. Make sure never to leave your pet in a hot car, tied outside, or left in direct sunlight unattended without adequate ventilation. It is the best way to stop heatstroke from occurring. Always have fresh water available, and clipping long-haired breeds will make sure that all our pets can remain cool to enjoy the summer.

Written by: Dr. Aoife Hand, DVM

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COVID-19: Additional measures we are taking

Dear Clients,

Due to the close contact that our work requires, we have taken additional measures to protect you and our team while providing care for your furry family members.

The following changes are effective as of Tuesday, March 24, 2020:

1. We are currently operating a “closed waiting room” policy to protect our clients and staff. When you arrive, please remain in your vehicle and use your cell phone to call us at 506.466.2543. We will take a history from outside of your vehicle, and bring your pet into the clinic for an examination with the veterinarian. We will then return to your vehicle with your pet to discuss our recommended treatment plan. If you do not have a cell phone please knock our door to let us know you have arrived and then return to your vehicle.

2. We are continuing to accept appointments for urgent or sick pets, as well as time-sensitive puppy/kitten vaccinations. All other services will be scheduled for a later time.

3. We are still OPEN with the following hours: Monday to Friday: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm. Hours are subject to change.

4. If you are ordering food or medications, please allow 3-5 business days as our suppliers are dealing with increased demand and are trying to fill orders as quickly as possible. We will advise you as soon as your order arrives. Please call us when you arrive to pick up your order, but do not enter the hospital. Our staff will bring your order to your car and take payment over the phone. You can also use our online store and have your food delivered directly to your home. To sign up for the online store, visit our website.

5. For the time being, we are not accepting cash as payment. We encourage payments to be done over the phone with a credit card or e-Transfer.

Following the recommendations of our government and medical experts, we are doing our best to practice social distancing within the constraints of our roles. As such, we have taken measures to avoid both contracting and facilitating the spread of this virus.

Thank you for helping us be diligent for everyone's safety. As we have heard from all levels of government, the situation is fluid and any updates will be provided as changes occur.

- Your dedicated team at Mayfield Veterinary Clinic