You Can Protect Your Family And Pets From Heat-Related Problems - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

6/27/05-Tyler

You Can Protect Your Family And Pets From Heat-Related Problems

With summer in full swing, it's time to take some extra precautions to avoid heat-related problems. If you work, play or exercise outside, the combination of hot, humid air and outdoor act ivies can create some serious conditions. "Dehydration can occur, heat exhaustion, profuse sweating and heat cramps," says Tami Martin, a manager at Premier Fitness.

Knowing the warning signs of heat-related conditions may help prevent dangerous situations, such as heat exhaustion. "They'll just go into a mode that they're lethargic, where they're exhausted," says Martin. Should that happen, get out of the heat and drink water immediately.

If you plan to exercise outside, Martin suggests doing so between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. or 5:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. That's when the heat is not as intense. "If you have to exercise outside, you definitely need a place that's shady, where you can be cool and not on the asphalt, try to stay on grass," says Martin. She says wear a hat, light clothing and drink between 64 and 80 ounces of water.

And don't forget about your pet. Veterinarians recommend you keep your pet indoors between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. during the hot summer months. John Alexander, a veterinarian at Bullard Veterinary Medical Center, says "Pets need as much access to water and shade as they can. That's the major issue. Make sure they get ventilation."

Signs of heat stroke in animals are intense, rapid panting, wide eyes, salivating, staggering and weakness. If that happens, Alexander says, "Put a fan on them. If they get to where their gums are really red, they're really weak and kind of wobbly, we need to see them so we can start some issuance as far as treatment."

That's something your pet will not need, and neither will you, if you take the necessary precautions.

Oralia Ortega reporting ortega@kltv.com

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