With forecasters predicting a heatwave for June 2015, the British Veterinary Association (BVA) is warning UK veterinary practices to expect an upturn in pets admitted for heat-related conditions.

The warning follows findings from the BVA’s Voice of the Veterinary Profession survey, which show nearly half of vets (48%) questioned treated animals for conditions related to hot weather during Summer 2014.

More than one in three small/mixed practice vets (36%) had seen cases of heat stroke last summer, while a similar proportion (31%) had seen animals with other conditions relating to hot weather, including:
  • Respiratory problems and worsening of conditions affecting the heart or lungs (seen by 11% of small animal/mixed practice vets)
  • Skin conditions (7%)
  • Fly strike (7%)
  • Heat stress / heat exhaustion / collapse / lethargy (4%)
Overwhelmingly, vets who had seen heat-related conditions treated dogs, with 9% mentioning small mammals (such as rabbits and guinea pigs), 8% mentioning cats and 4% other animals.

With a consumer focus, the BVA is advising pet owners to take extra care in keeping their pets healthy and happy in the sunshine, and to contact their veterinary practice immediately if they are concerned their pet is suffering from a heat-related condition.

The association also advises owners to contact a vet for advice rather than trying to treat an animal who could be suffering from a heat-related condition on their own.

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