Heat exhaustion can be fatal for pets in East Texas this summer

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Triple digit temperatures have made their way into East Texas this summer and already, it's causing health problems. This extreme heat can be fatal, not only for you, but for your pets as well.

After being brought into the vet and sliding into a coma, one dog is now the picture of health.

"We had to treat him for heat exhaustion by trying to get his temperature down very rapidly as well as some medications and stuff to try to control seizures as well as his heart rate," said Dr. Lindsay Syler of Angelina Animal Hospital.

Dr. Syler says she's already seen two severe cases of heat exhaustion this summer. Just three days ago, Jordyn Currie brought her Great Dane to Dr. Syler, hoping to save his life.

"It's cruel. I mean, even with everything we had out for them to have water and things like that, the heat and the way things work out sometimes it's not fair to us," said Currie.

Typically an outside dog, Roscoe wasn't able to bear the early triple digit heat this year. When Currie found him panting outside, she rushed him to the vet. But, his temperature was already over 106 degrees.

"When they get that high, a lot of times, there's some brain damage. And, the brain cannot control the respirations and the heart rate really well. So, although we tried really hard to get him under control, he was on oxygen for almost two hours," said Syler.

Roscoe died just two hours after arriving at the animal clinic. Syler reminds us heat exhaustion can cause pets' health to decline very rapidly.

"It can happen within minutes, especially being locked in a car or, you know, outside in extreme heat," said Syler.

Currie says the death is hard on everyone, even Roscoe's partner, Salem.

"Where he normally lays, she'll go up to the area and look around. He's not there. So, it's taking a toll on all of us," said Currie.

Currie says Salem is now kept inside. Currie also says she buried Roscoe in her yard and plans to plant flowers by his grave site.

Syler says dogs who suffer heat exhaustion have to be kept under a vet's care for several days after they're stabilized. If your pet does get overheated, Syler recommends placing them in a lukewarm water bath to lower their temperature, and contact your vet as soon as possible. Syler says you should look for signs of heavy panting, weakness, failure or trouble responding to commands, high body temperature, and other abnormal behaviors if you suspect your dog is suffering from heat exhaustion.

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