Dangerously Hot Day In Oklahoma For People, Pets

Tuesday, June 14th 2011, 11:33 am
By: News 9


OKLAHOMA CITY -- People in Oklahoma City and across the state should prepare themselves for what could be the hottest day so far this year.

The temperature in the metro area is expected to reach a sweltering 102 degrees. Physicians are warning people who must be outside to be very careful and monitor themselves for signs of heat exhaustion. Those warning signs include:

  • Heavy sweating
  • Cold or clammy skin
  • Muscle cramps
  • Headache
  • Fatigue

Doctors say you should hydrate yourself before going outdoors, but if you experience any of the symptoms you should immediately start sipping water.

The elderly are very vulnerable to the extreme heat. OG&E is once again trying to help senior citizens stay cool. The electricity company is delivering 1,000 electric fans to the Salvation Army, Areawide Aging Agency and Community Action Agency. All the agencies help low-income and elderly residents in Oklahoma.

"Each year, the fan donation program helps those who are particularly vulnerable to the summer heat," said Brian Alford, Director of Corporate Communications and Community Relations for OG&E. "We partner with agencies that work directly with those in need to distribute these fans as summer temperatures rise."

People should also make sure to protect their pets from the heat. Oklahoma State University's Center for Veterinary Health Sciences says heat exhaustion is just as dangerous for animals as it is for humans.

Veterinarians warn pet owners to never leave animals in a parked car, even if the car is in the shade with the windows cracked. The temperature in cars can soar to more than 30 degrees above the temperature outside. Other tips from veterinarians:

  • For outdoor pets, make sure your pet has access to shade and a continuous supply of cool water in containers that cannot be tipped over. If possible, add ice cubes or small frozen containers of water to your pet's water bowl every morning.
  • If you jog with your pet, keep in mind that over exertion in hot weather can easily cause overheating, especially in humid weather. Even if the dog is in excellent shape and jogs daily with you in cooler weather, in the summer a pet can easily overheat.
  • Signs of overheating or heat stress may include elevated body temperature and heart rate, excessive panting, dark or bright red tongue and gums, staring and unresponsive, staggering, seizures, bloody diarrhea or vomiting, coma and even death.
  • If heat exhaustion occurs, sponge the animal's neck and groin areas with cool water and call your veterinarian immediately.
  • While clipping your dog may seem like a good way to help your pet stay cool, consult your veterinarian first. Closely clipping your dog's coat may cause its skin to sunburn as a human's skin would if exposed. The dog's natural coat protects its skin by design.