News Releases

Media Bulletin - Chief Veterinary Officer

May 14, 2018


With warmer temperatures beginning across much of the province, Manitoba Agriculture’s Office of the Chief Veterinary Officer reminds Manitobans to monitor their animals for signs of heat stress this summer.

High temperatures and humidity affect animals in the same way they affect people.  Signs of heat stress include:

  • difficulty breathing including excessive panting,
  • drooling,
  • bright red gums,
  • anxious behaviour or panic,
  • excessive water consumption,
  • weakness or incoherent behaviour, and
  • collapse or seizure.

Pets should never be left inside a vehicle during warm weather.  Manitobans who are concerned about the health and safety of an animal in this situation should write down a description of the location, the vehicle and the animal and its behaviour.  Depending on the situation and the number of people available, responsibilities can be shared to resolve the situation as quickly as possible:

  • Have one person remain by the vehicle to monitor the animal, providing shade if possible.
  • Notify staff working in the nearest building, if in a public place, as they may be able to locate the owner.
  • Do not attract a crowd or otherwise cause additional stress to the animal.
  • Contact local animal welfare enforcement, which could be the province’s Animal Care Line, a local police detachment, or the Winnipeg Humane Society’s Emergency Response Line at 204-982-2020.

Some types of animals are more likely to be affected by heat stress including those that are dark-coloured or have thick coats, are very old or young, have underlying medical issues, are overweight, have short noses, or are naturally anxious or active.

If animals are kept outside in warm weather, help keep them cool by providing a constant water supply that is easily accessible, access to shade and breezy areas, and cool resting surfaces.

If an animal seems to be experiencing heat stress, try to keep it calm while moving it to a cool and shady area.  If the animal’s condition does not improve or deteriorates within five minutes, call a veterinarian immediately for further advice.

Manitobans who have concerns about the welfare of an animal should contact the province’s Animal Care Line with details of what they have observed at 204-945-8000, (toll-free) at 1-888-945-8001 or   All reports to the Animal Care Line are confidential.

For more information about heat stress and other animal care issues, visit


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