Hypothermia in Dogs and Cats

Hypothermia in Dogs and Cats

Underfloor heating (hot wind with digital temperature control) applied on the blanket hypothermic patient – more efficient method of heating without risk of burning.

Measure (measure) the temperature of all dogs and cats treated at Pet Care is part of every clinical care. Normally we do this to see if the animal is a fever, but we can also find that the temperature is very low and it can be serious. Puppies (neonates less than 30 days old), cats, and senile animals (old) are the leading candidates to hypothermia.

Hypothermia is the temperature drop below normal in animal keeping constant temperature (e.g. cats and dogs whose body temperature is  around 38.3 and 39.3 ° C ). We have classify hypothermia.

– mild hypothermia: between 32.2 to 35 ° C.

– Moderate Hypothermia: between 28.2 and 32 ° C.

– Severe hypothermia: below 28 ° C.

CAUSES OF Hypothermia:

– Temperature  too low ambient ( winter, humidity, wind chill)

– thermoregulation impaired as in  neonates (babies), elderly, animals with hypothyroidism (thyroid dysfunction) or hypothalamic dysfunction.

– Animals  sick, debilitated or extensive lesions favoring heat loss.

– Animals too  small .

– Inadequate generation of heat as in neonates cachectic animals.

– Low fat and low sugar reserves as animals with  hypoglycemia .

– very advanced Age.

– Anesthesia and surgery.


Impaired consciousness, arrhythmia, hypotension, decreased heart rate, respiratory depression, hypoxemia, shivering, pale mucous membranes, dilated and fixed pupils (blank stare).

Very common in small breeds (small), neonates and older dogs.


hot bag method that can be done done at home with pet bottle or glove with heated water in microwave – very careful with burns.

The vast majority of cases receive outpatient treatment, removing the cause of hypothermia and / or correcting possible systemic changes that lead to it. In cases of severe hypothermia Oxygen support is very important.

Heating own bag – also has risk of burns.

In mild hypothermia passive rewarming with blankets and space heating may be sufficient.

In moderate hypothermia must use external heat source such as  hot water bags and r heat below (heated blowers) without causing peripheral vasodilation and taking great care not to burn the animal ?? never should place the bag or blanket in contact directly with the animal ‘s skin and never put the animal lying on the electric blanket, especially if he has difficulty getting around or are semi – comatose.

operating table with internal heat – without the risk of burns. analog temperature control.

In severe / severe hypothermia should be used technique  heating , including gastric and peritoneal lavage with warm water, hot water enema, heated intravenous fluids among others.

Another very common cause of hypothermia and during  surgical transpost surgical and / or post anesthetic . In these cases should prevent the loss of temperature during the procedure. Serum heated, heated environment and heated surgical table helps in controlling the temperature of the surgical patient. The major surgery with loss of fluid / blood should be monitored more closely.

The Veterinary Hospital Pet Care has a prepared staff and  the latest equipment to heat and maintain our surgical or hospitalized patients with normal temperature.


Add Comment