Weather alert! 29’C feels like 36’C. Tomorrow 30’C will feel like 40’C. In this heat it is very easy for pets with respiratory, heart or age related issues to have increased troubles with those conditions and may cause new issues to arise. Also our healthy pets that for example: a lab that runs around the pool fence while the kids are splashing around may experience heat stroke
Prevention is the key here are some tips:
1. Shade/shelter and fresh water available at all times. This is extremely important for pets that are tied or kenneled.
2. Bring indoor outdoor pets inside during the heat of the day. (10AM-4PM)
3. If you regularly exercise your pet plan to do it early in the morning or later in the evening.
4. If you don’t regularly exercise your pet, now is not the time to start, they can get weekend warrior syndrome too.
5. Soak toys and place in fridge or freezer (don’t freeze solid) and let them play with them.
6. Offer wading/kiddie pools with a shallow amount of fresh water in them. Ensure they or other animals who wander in can get in and out with ease by putting blocks of wood or ramps outside and inside pool.
7. Keep gates up on regular pools so there is no opportunity for drowning.
It is important to know if your dog is predisposed to heat stroke, which is true of dogs with short snouts such as bulldogs, pugs and many other breeds. Other common causes of heat stroke include: a previous episode of heat stroke, leaving a dog in a parked car, excessive exercise in hot, humid weather (this may be exercise that your dog can usually handle but not in warmer weather), lack of appropriate shelter outdoors, thicker-coated dogs in warm weather and underlying disease such as upper airway, heart of lung disease.
Recognizing the Signs of a Heat Stroke
Signs and symptoms of heat stroke include: collapse, body temperature 104° F /40’C or above, bloody diarrhea or vomit, depression stupor, seizures or coma, excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart rate, salivation. Note: 105’F-106’F DIRE EMERGENCY!
If you suspect heat stroke:
1. Get your dog out of direct heat
2. Check for shock
• Pale mucus membranes (gums or inner lips should be pink , not white, grey or brick red)
• Shivering or shaking
• Lack of co-ordination or disoriented
3. Take your dog’s temperature
• Normal 99.5’F/37.5’C-101.3’F/38.5’C
• Take your pet’s temp under normal circumstances every once and a while to have a baseline,( there are some pets who will have a normal outside the range).
Abnormally high temp here is what to do.
1. Wet towel, or gently hose with tepid to cool (but not cold) water then retake temperature.
2. Place water soaked towels on the dog’s head, neck feet, chest and abdomen, turn on a fan and point it in your dog’s direction.
3. You can also rub Isopropyl alcohol (70%) on the dog’s foot pads to help cool him but don’t use large quantities as it can be toxic if ingested.
• During a heat crisis, the goal is always to decrease the dog’s body temperature to 103° F in the first 10-15 minutes. Once 103° F/39.5’C is reached, you must stop the cooling process because the body temperature will continue to decrease and can plummet dangerously low if you continue to cool the dog for too long.
4. Take your dog to the nearest veterinary hospital – Call ahead to let them know you are coming.
• Even if you successfully cool your pet down to 103° F in the first 10-15 minutes, you must take the dog to a veterinarian as soon as possible because consequences of heat stroke will not show up for hours or even days. Potential problems include abnormal heart rhythms, kidney failure, neurological problems and respiratory arrest.
Have a safe time in the summer heat for both you and your pet.
SKS Summer 2014
Some Information taken from the American Humane Society