Insolation in cats – Symptoms and first aid
Cats are very fond of being outdoors and feeling the warmth of sunshine on their bodies. That’s why your favorite places are the balconies and the terraces. Like humans, and although cats are accustomed to the sun, too much exposure could cause sunstroke.
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In summer it is when the sun is warmer and stronger and temperatures are very high, so it is important to be aware and measure the amount of sun that your cat’s skin is absorbing.
In this article from YourCatCareguide we will see what is the insolation in cats , what their symptoms and the first aid to take into account in case of this occur.
Causes and risk factors for sunshine in cats
Although cats are covered with a thick coat, they may also be affected by long exposures to the sun. This star is very strong and its rays affect practically all the creatures of the planet. Heatstroke could pose a medical emergency , so be careful.
Cats are susceptible to suffering from sunstroke, especially the offspring of cats and elderly cats , who are not able to regulate their temperature properly. By not being able to eliminate heat, cats begin to raise their body temperature alarmingly, and even death can occur .
It can especially affect cats that:
- Do not have a haven in the shade.
- They are enclosed in cars.
- They are enclosed in houses.
- They live in very hot places.
- They suffer from heart disease.
- They suffer from respiratory diseases.
- With previous history of insolation.
- Long-haired cats.
- Cats of dark color.
Sunshine Symptoms in Cats
The symptoms that a cat is suffering from a sunstroke are very evident, so it is extremely important to detect them from the first appearance, especially if the cat is puppy or elderly. The symptoms of sunstroke in cats are:
- High body temperature
- Foam in the mouth
- Dry gums
- White, very red or blue gums
- Difficulty breathing
- Poor muscle coordination
- Abnormal heart rhythm
- Constant bowling
The cat can be slow and lazy. Your breathing may be accelerated and you may even have difficulty breathing. Cats can not perspire in the same way that we humans, they rely on panting (which removes hot air from your body and invites the air to cool and cool) and a limited sweating through the pads of your paws and nose. This is not enough for them, which makes them more sensitive to absorbing more heat than normal, especially during times of heat and humidity.
The mucous membranes of the gums will also turn blue and your heart rate will increase. If your cat has physical symptoms, staggering while walking or even vomiting, it is clear that he is suffering from sunstroke. You should consult a veterinarian as soon as possible .
Consequences of prolonged exposure
If first aid and immediate treatment are not applied, the cat is likely to suffer consequences due to prolonged exposure to the sun and symptoms of sunshine. The severity will be directly related to the time of action and the physical state of the cat .
Among the milder consequences we find loss of salts and mild dehydration, but in the most serious we can find acute dehydration, internal bleeding (which causes damage in many organs), renal and hepatic insufficiency, stroke, a coma and even death of the cat.
First aid and heat treatment
If you see that your cat is suffering from sunstroke, the first thing you should do is lie in the shade , and then very gently spray water at room temperature with a spray or apply compresses of warm water between 10 and 15 minutes . Never apply cold water suddenly or in a compress because the cat could suffer from a shock. Talk to him and try to calm him down. Check if you have wounds, what kind they are, and wrap them with a soft, wet cloth, then take it to the vet.
Once the condition of the cat is confirmed, you should take it to the veterinarian as soon as possible. Explain to him in advance by phone how you are and should proceed in some specific way. In addition, we recommend some of the basic first aid that can help improve the health of your cat:
- Keep your cat in a shady area and sheltered from the sun.
- Check your cat’s rectal temperature at all times while applying the pads and stop doing so when it exceeds 39 ° C.
The heat should subside slowly and gradually , do not forget that a drastic change can severely affect your internal organs.
The veterinary treatment to be applied will depend on the severity of the situation and the damage that the insolation caused to the body of your feline. In the absence of a specific treatment, the professional will act trying to minimize the symptoms that observe. The prognosis may or may not be favorable, it all depends on the damage.
Heat stroke prevention
At YourCatCareguide we always call for prevention , this helps us to avoid future bad times with our pet. A sunstroke can be very unpleasant for him and in some cases very serious, so if your cat is very fond of sun exposure, it should prepare him both for himself and his environment.
Tenha sempre à sua disposição um bebedouro com água fresca em abundância. Coloque uma almofada ou uma cama em uma zona da casa que esteja sempre fresca, assim, quando se sentir saturado do sol, sabe que tem uma zona onde pode relaxar na sombra e evite que tenha acesso ao sol durante as horas de mais calor, entre as 12:00 e as 17:00.
Burns due to sun exposure
Some cats have genetic defects that can make them predisposed to increased sensitivity to the skin, so prolonged exposure can affect them to a greater degree. In some cases, exposing them too much to the sun could worsen already existing conditions like chronic conditions or autoimmune skin diseases and parasitic skin infections.
In summary, sun damage results in acute inflammation of the animal’s skin, which, if very frequent, can lead to pre-cancerous conditions or tumors on the skin .
This condition is determined by degrees of intensity ranging from burning to skin that, if not protected and reduced, could result in partial first-degree partial burns, deep partial burns (these rarer and more severe), and deep burns which extend throughout the skin and may involve the internal tissue. In the second and third case, the visit to the veterinarian is essential.
With partial burns the cat’s skin will turn reddish, irritated and sensitive to touch. Although it is superficial it does not mean that the animal does not feel uncomfortable and even pain. When a cat has symptoms of sunburn, it is important not to touch it too much. Deep partial burns cause blisters to appear in some cases and your skin will be really red, this type of burn can go beyond the first layer of skin. Stay alert to the condition of your pet’s scalp.
This article is purely informative, in YourCatCareguide.com.br we do not have the capacity to prescribe veterinary treatments nor to make any type of diagnosis. We suggest you bring your pet to the veterinarian in case of any type of condition or malaise.
If you want to read more articles the full text of Symptoms and first aid , please visit our First Aid section .