Hermes is a lovable, energetic two-year-old Pitbull who came to us after he went hiking with his doting mom in the morning on one of the first days of a heatwave in Southern California. After the hike, they returned home and Hermes seemed perfectly normal, so mom went out for about one hour. When she returned home however, she found Hermes in distress.
Within the span of a 45 minute hike, Hermes suffered severe heat stroke and burns to his paw pads and toes. Heat stroke happens when your body can no longer get rid of the extra heat inside of it. Your body then begins to become affected by the heat, resulting in organ damage and eventually death.
His paws were bleeding, he had diarrhea, and was lethargic. His owner had to act quickly, so she did the right thing and rushed him to their local vet where he was bathed to reduce his temperature and was then referred to ACCESS Specialty Animal Hospital – Los Angeles.
Here, he was taken in right away and diagnosed with bruised skin, an irregular heartbeat, a blood clotting disorder, GI bleeding, kidney injuries, lameness, and severe paw pad abrasions. Hermes was started on fluids, and IV medications to stabilize him and reduce his pain, and had his paws cleaned and bandaged. He continued his medication and fluids, as well as a plasma transfusion to help reverse the damage caused by the heat. He will continue to be monitored for changes and treated for his condition.
Unfortunately, Hermes is not alone. Heatstroke can affect humans and animals within a matter of minutes with symptoms sometimes being very subtle.