Summer danger

Many good questions came in to Lassies vet Sofie when we asked you via our social media to ask questions on the theme of summer! Here are some of the answers to your questions.

Increased temperatures

Can a cat get heatstroke? How can you tell?

Yes, both cats can get heatstroke. It can happen to animals exposed to high temperatures without the opportunity to seek shade and cool off, for example in a hot car or if the animal is left in direct sunlight on a hot summer's day. Heat stroke is a life-threatening condition, so it's important to be alert to early signs of overheating. These may include severe panting, drooling, shade seeking and bright red mucous membranes in the mouth. The animal may appear anxious or more lethargic than usual. If it goes on longer, the animal may start vomiting, have difficulty breathing and faint.

The sun's rays

I have a cat who likes to sunbathe on the patio. Can she burn herself in the sun? Can she get sun rash?

Yes, cats can actually burn from the sun just like us but it is a rare problem in our pets. Animals with thinner and/or light coats and nude breeds are particularly vulnerable. The skin on the nose, ears, stomach and scrotum is thinner and therefore more vulnerable. I would say that a cat with no other skin problems can sunbathe in the way you describe without any problems, but it is possible to apply perfume-free sunscreen to ears, for example, if you notice that your cat's skin becomes red after being in the sun. There are also special sunscreens for dogs and cats that you can use on sensitive areas if you are planning longer activities with increased sun exposure with your pet.

Insect bites

Do I need to see a vet if my cat is stung by a wasp/bee?

A wasp or bee sting is rarely dangerous for your dog or cat, so you don't usually need to seek veterinary care. There may be a small local swelling at the site of the sting and the animal may become a little sore. Like humans, some animals can have an allergic reaction to an insect bite. If the dog becomes generally affected or swells considerably, you should contact a vet. If the dog is stung around the face, mouth or throat, you should also consult a vet as severe swelling can affect the animal's ability to breathe.

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