Cody, a 3 year old golden retriever spent nearly 2 weeks in the hospital, battling back against the harmful effects of heat stroke. It took only a few minutes – on a short walk with his owner and canine siblings for Cody to suffer from heat stroke. Normal body temperature for a canine is between 101° and 102.5°. After he had been cooled off by his owners, Cody’ temperature was still more than 104°.
Heat stroke is more than just being “hot” and needing to cool off. Heat stroke begins with heavy panting and rapid, difficult breathing. The body becomes weak and loses its ability to regulate temperature, causing internal body temperatures to soar. The tongue and mucous membranes appear bright red. The pet becomes progressively unsteady and often has bloody stool caused by organ damage. As shock sets in, the lips and mucous membranes turn gray. Collapse, seizures, coma, and death can rapidly follow.
Heat stroke is something the veterinarians at Animal Emergency and Critical Care Center of Brevard are all too familiar with – a serious emergency that Cody’s owners handled correctly by getting him to the hospital as quickly as possible. Cody required IV Fluids, plasma, a constant stream of medications, continuous monitoring of vital signs and daily bloodwork to monitor his kidney and liver function. Cody was in critical condition and was placed in one of the ICU cribs at the hospital for the first several days of treatment. Cody could barely lift his head to look around. He was lifted from his crib every three hours to be weighed and each of his meals were hand fed to him by hospital team members. Even though Cody was barely holding on to life, his parents were not ready to give up. Cody’s owners brought homemade meals and visited him at the hospital every chance they got.
After a week of around the clock nursing care and lots of love and encouragement, Cody began to gain back his strength. Finally, he sat up, he wagged his tail, he made eye contact and showed an appetite. Things started to turn around for Cody and his family. Still, Cody required another week of IV therapy for his kidney and liver functions to recover.
On Friday, September 12th Cody walked out of the front door of the hospital and took the ride home to be with his family. During his 2 week stay at the hospital, Cody received 16 Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatments and is continuing his HBOT treatment for the next few weeks. The painless therapy pushed pure oxygen into his bloodstream and all the way down to his plasma to promote the rapid healing of his damaged tissues. Cody remains under close medical supervision, but with some continued therapy and monitoring, Cody’s prognosis looks very bright. His family is very happy to have him home again.
About Heat Stroke In Pets:
Help your pet avoid heat stroke by walking them in the early morning and late evenings. Be sure your pet has plenty of water and never leave them out in the sun unattended (including in a dog house or a vehicle) for long periods of time. Pets with thick coats, dark fur, those with heart conditions and pets that are overweight are more likely to suffer from heat stroke. Even pets that are in good physical condition can run into trouble on a day that is more hot and humid than usual.
If a pet is experiencing heat stroke, emergency measures to cool the pet must begin at once. Move the pet out of the heat, preferably into an air-conditioned building. Take the pet’s rectal temperature. If the temperature is above 104°F, begin rapid cooling by spraying or pouring cool (not ice cold) water on the pet then transport your pet to the veterinarian as soon as possible.
About Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy:
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) allows a patient’s body to absorb up to 4 times the normal amount of oxygen. This increases the oxygenation of all organs, tissues, and bodily fluids. It is the pressure of the chamber that allows for the much greater absorption of the oxygen provided. When a patient is in the chamber, the increased pressure causes the blood plasma to absorb much larger quantities of oxygen, greatly increasing oxygen uptake by the cells, tissues, glands, organs, brain, and all fluids of the body. This oxygen can then be utilized by the body for vital functions. While relatively new in veterinary medicine, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy has been popular in therapeutic human applications since 1937. Common veterinary uses include: venomous bites by spiders or snakes, trauma, burns, pancreatitis, smoke inhalation and many more. HBOT is covered by many pet insurance policies.
About Animal Emergency and Critical Care Center of Brevard (AECC):
Animal Emergency and Critical Care Center of Brevard (AECC) and Veterinary Imaging Center is Brevard’s most respected veterinary hospital for comprehensive emergency, critical and specialty veterinary care as well as state-of-the-art imaging. Located on West Eau Gallie Boulevard, the hospital offers the services of board-certified veterinary specialists including a surgeon, neurologist, cardiologist and dermatologist. Canine rehabilitation programs including underwater treadmill therapy, cold laser therapy and acupuncture are also offered by a certified therapist. The hospital has been serving area pet families for more than 18 years.