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With daily high temperatures in the 80s and 90s,
it’s time for a reminder on how to prevent deadly heat stroke in pets.

Let your dog chill out this summer!

Let your dog chill out this summer!

For long-time readers of this blog, this post on heat stroke looks familiar. Why? Because I’ve been posting it nearly every year since 2010. Every year, pets suffer heat stroke, but it doesn’t have to be that way. So I’ll keep repeating this column until heat stroke in pets is a thing of the past.

And now, without further ado:

Heat Stroke in Pets

Do you know how to protect your pets from heat stroke during the muggy days of summer?  This goes beyond the usual caveat of “never leave your pet in a car while you go shopping, babysit, attend a sporting event, spy on your ex-boyfriend, etc.  Here are some tips to keep your pet safe in the yard or out and about:

  • Keep pets indoors as much as possible, especially if they are sluggish or panting soon after going outdoors.
  • Limit exercise to brief walks in the coolest parts of the day.  Keep in mind that hot pavement and sand can burn pets’ paws.
  • Provide plenty of cool water.  Check water throughout the day, as it can become hot if left outdoors. 
  • Kennels and pens should have good ventilation and air circulation and should be kept in shaded areas.

Here’s a super-cool idea: Check your dog into Happy Tails Resort
in Norfolk and let her enjoy the indoor swimming pool and play area!

Warning Signs of Heat Stroke or Heat Stress

Your pet may need emergency assistance if it exhibits any of the following signs:

  • Excessive panting and drooling
  • Bright red gums
  • Balance problems
  • Lethargy
  • Staring or anxious expression
  • Labored breathing
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Failure to respond to commands
  • High fever
  • Collapse

What To Do

Lower your pet’s body temperature by easing him into a cool (not freezing) bath.  Water from the outdoor hose may be hot, so that may not be your best option.  

Bring your pet indoors and place him in a tub, taking care to keep his mouth and nose above water [we use stacks of towels to accomplish this.] 

Apply ice packs to his head and neck. 

Call your veterinarian for further instructions.  In most cases, your pet will be hospitalized for treatment and observation.  By necessity, this sort of care may take place at the 24-hour emergency hospital.

Who Is At Risk of Heat Stroke?

Any pet can have heat stroke, but some are more susceptible than others. All pets need to be protected on hot days.  However, these pets are more likely than others to have a problem:

  • Very young and older pets
  • Short-nosed/pug-nosed breeds
  • Overweight pets
  • Pets with cardiovascular or respiratory disorders
  • Pets with a previous history of heat stress

Heat stroke is a life-threatening emergency.  If you suspect your pet has heat stroke, we recommend taking him to the nearest emergency hospital for comprehensive care.

[Information borrowed from “Summer Pet Tips” by Ralston Purina Company and “Summer Safety Tips” by Firstline magazine.]

****************************************************************************************
This article was originally published on July 28, 2010.

Photo credit: By Leif Skoogfors (This image is from the FEMA Photo Library.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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Nation’s Largest Pet Insurer Offers Dog Park Safety Tips for the Canine Companion

As summer approaches, dog lovers begin their migration to local dog parks so their four-legged family members can play and socialize. With the increasing popularity off-leash dog parks, Nationwide, the nation’s first and largest provider of pet health insurance, would like to remind dog owners about the importance of safety when visiting the dog park.

Last year, Nationwide members spent more than $10 million on medical conditions that are commonly associated with dog park fun. Nationwide recently sorted through its database of more than 575,000 insured pets to determine the most common dog park-related medical conditions of last year. Below are the results:

Most Common Dog Park-related Medical Conditions

 Injury  Cost
 Sprains & Soft Tissue Injuries  $225
 Lacerations or Bite Wounds  $361
 Kennel Cough or Upper Respiratory Infection $346
 Insect Bites $143
 Head Trauma $591
 Hyperthermia or Heat Stroke $579


 

 

 

 

 

Before visiting any dog park for the first time, dog owners should research the rules and regulations of the park. Below are a few simple, but important, tips for ensuring a fun and safe trip to the dog park:

    • Obey all posted rules and regulations.
    • Pay attention to your dog at all times and ensure that playtime remains friendly. If your dog or another dog is playing too rough, it’s best to remove your dog from the situation.
    • Many dog parks have designated areas for large and small dogs. No matter your dog’s stature, be sure to keep them in the area allocated for their size.
    • Don’t bring a puppy younger than four months old.
    • Make sure your dog is up to date on vaccinations.
    • Keep a collar on your dog with proper identification tags that include contact information (microchipping is also recommended).
    • On warm days, avoid the dog park during peak temperature hours.
    • Bring water and a bowl for your dog to drink out of.
    • Look for signs of overheating; including profuse and rapid panting, a bright red tongue, thick drooling saliva, glassy eyes and lack of coordination. If this occurs, take your dog to a veterinarian immediately.

About Nationwide Pet Insurance

With more than 575,000 insured pets, pet insurance from Nationwide, formerly known as Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI), is the first and largest pet health insurance provider in the United States. Since 1982, Nationwide has helped provide pet owners with peace of mind and is committed to being the trusted choice of America’s pet lovers. 

Nationwide plans cover dogs, cats, birds and exotic pets for multiple medical problems and conditions relating to accidents, illnesses and injuries. Medical plans are available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Additionally, one in three Fortune 500 companies offers pet insurance from Nationwide as an employee benefit. 

Insurance plans are offered and administered by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company in California and DVM Insurance Agency in all other states. Underwritten by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company (CA), Brea, CA, an A.M. Best A rated company (2013); National Casualty Company (all other states), Madison, WI, an A.M. Best A+ rated company (2014). Nationwide, the Nationwide N and Eagle, and Nationwide Is On Your Side are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. ©2016 Nationwide. Pet owners can find Nationwide pet insurance on Facebook or follow on Twitter. For more information about Nationwide pet insurance, call 800-USA-PETS (800-872-7387) or visit petinsurance.com.

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The heat and humidity are on everyone’s mind this summer. We’ve warned of the dangers of heat stroke in pets and most pet owners are keeping their dogs and cats indoors, where it’s safe. But suppose the A/C goes out? Or you just want to give your pet a little something extra to keep it cool? 

We’ve scoured the Internet to find products that are designed to help keep pets cool.* Click the links to learn more about each product and where they can be purchased.

Dog Cooling Paddog-cooling-pad

Dog Cooling Jacketdog-cooling-jacket

Crate Fan
Crate fanCooling Scarf

dog-cooling-collar-scarf

Hydro Bone Freezable ToyHydroBone

Remember, pets are safest kept indoors in an air-conditioned environment during the hot summer months. Heat stroke can occur under the right circumstances, even to pets using the above products. Pug-nosed, elderly, overweight, and infirm pets are especially at risk.

*These products have not been used or tested by the doctor or staff at our clinic, and we therefore make no warranties or guarantees as to the safety or efficacy of any product. Be sure any product you purchase is specifically designed for your pet’s species, breed, size, and age.  

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With daily high temperatures in the 80s and 90s,
it’s time for a reminder on how to prevent deadly heat stroke in pets.

Let your dog chill out this summer!

Let your dog chill out this summer!

Heat Stroke in Pets

Do you know how to protect your pets from heat stroke during the muggy days of summer?  This goes beyond the usual caveat of “never leave your pet in a car while you go shopping, babysit, attend a sporting event, spy on your girlfriend, etc.  Here are some tips to keep your pet safe in the yard or out and about:

  • Keep pets indoors as much as possible, especially if they are sluggish or panting soon after going outdoors.
  • Limit exercise to brief walks in the coolest parts of the day.  Keep in mind that hot pavement and sand can burn pets’ paws.
  • Provide plenty of cool water.  Check water throughout the day, as it can become hot if left outdoors. 
  • Kennels and pens should have good ventilation and air circulation and should be kept in shaded areas.

Here’s a super-cool idea: Check your dog into Happy Tails Resort
in Norfolk and let her enjoy the indoor swimming pool and play area!

Warning Signs of Heat Stroke or Heat Stress

Your pet may need emergency assistance if it exhibits any of the following signs:

  • Excessive panting and drooling
  • Bright red gums
  • Balance problems
  • Lethargy
  • Staring or anxious expression
  • Labored breathing
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Failure to respond to commands
  • High fever
  • Collapse

What To Do

Lower your pet’s body temperature by easing him into a cool (not freezing) bath.  Water from the outdoor hose may be hot, so that may not be your best option.  

Bring your pet indoors and place him in a tub, taking care to keep his mouth and nose above water [we use stacks of towels to accomplish this.] 

Apply ice packs to his head and neck. 

Call your veterinarian for further instructions.  In most cases, your pet will be hospitalized for treatment and observation.  By necessity, this sort of care may take place at the 24-hour emergency hospital.

Who Is At Risk of Heat Stroke?

Any pet can have heat stroke, but some are more susceptible than others. All pets need to be protected on hot days.  However, these pets are more likely than others to have a problem:

  • Very young and older pets
  • Short-nosed/pug-nosed breeds
  • Overweight pets
  • Pets with cardiovascular or respiratory disorders
  • Pets with a previous history of heat stress

Heat stroke is a life-threatening emergency.  If you suspect your pet has heat stroke, we recommend taking him to the nearest emergency hospital for comprehensive care.

[Information borrowed from “Summer Pet Tips” by Ralston Purina Company and “Summer Safety Tips” by Firstline magazine.]

****************************************************************************************
This article was originally published on July 28, 2010.

Photo credit: By Leif Skoogfors (This image is from the FEMA Photo Library.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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Nation’s Largest Pet Insurer Offers Pet Friendly Guidance for Summer Trips

Brea, Calif. (May 18,  2015) – Each year millions of pets accompany their families on vacation, and with summer approaching, Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. (VPI), the nation’s first and largest provider of pet health insurance, reminds pet lovers that the key to a safe vacation for our furry family members is preparation. To spread awareness about the potential dangers pets face during a trip, VPI sorted through its database of more than 525,000 insured pets to determine the most common travel-related pet injuries. Below are the results:  

Injury/Illness Travel Related Incident Average Cost for Treatment
Vomiting or Diarrhea Motion Sickness $226
Heat Stroke Pet Left in Car $575
Bruising or Contusion Sudden Car Stop $226
Sprain Jumping out of Car $185
Nasal Cavity Foreign Object Inhaling Debris while Head Out of Window $406
Laceration Hit with Debris while Head Out of Window $329

  VPI encourages people to plan ahead with these travel tips to ensure that their furry friends are safe during summer excursions:

  1. If traveling by car, secure your pet with a safety harness or well ventilated carrier to restrain them in case of a sudden stop or accident. 
  2. Never allow your pet hang out the window. Opening the window just a few inches will allow your pet to safely enjoy the breeze without the risk of inhaling debris or being struck by any objects. This will also prevent any temptation your pet may have of jumping out of the car.
  3. Feed your pet a smaller meal before your trip to prevent an upset stomach. Also remember to carry plenty of water to prevent dehydration.
  4. Bring your pets’ toys to accompany them during travel. The familiar smells can help comfort your pet and keep them occupied during the trip.
  5. Never leave your pet in a car unattended. Even with the windows cracked, temperatures in a car can increase drastically.
  6. Make sure your pet is wearing identification at all times in case she becomes separated or lost. Verify that your pet’s ID tag is up-to-date, durable, and includes your mobile phone number.
  7. Pack a recent photo of your pet along with current vaccination records. If your pet becomes lost, having a current photograph will make the search easier.
  8. Book a pet-friendly hotel. With more than 25,000 hotels in the U.S. allowing pets, there are plenty of properties from which to choose. Don’t assume all pets will be allowed, though: Some hotels place limits on the size of the dogs they allow. Call to check that your dog will be welcomed.
  9. Look up details about a veterinary hospital near your destination (phone number, hours, driving distance).  If your pet has a medical emergency you’ll be prepared and know where to go.

“Traveling with our pets can be fun, but it’s important to take the correct steps to ensure they are safe and comfortable,” said Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA, vice president and chief veterinary medical officer for VPI. “I recommend scheduling a pre-trip appointment with your veterinarian to confirm that your pet is in good health, and that your pet’s vaccinations are current. If your itinerary includes air travel, ask your veterinarian for a formal pet health certificate, which is required by most commercial airlines. Always consider your pet’s personality and determine if she or he can handle traveling, or if a change in surroundings may be too far outside the comfort zone for your pet.”

About Veterinary Pet Insurance

With more than 525,000 pets insured nationwide, Veterinary Pet Insurance Co./DVM Insurance Agency (VPI), a Nationwide company, is the first and largest pet health insurance provider in the United States. Since 1982, VPI has helped provide pet owners with peace of mind and is committed to being the trusted choice of America’s pet lovers.

VPI plans cover dogs, cats, birds and exotic pets for multiple medical problems and conditions relating to accidents, illnesses and injuries. Wellness coverage for routine care is available for an additional premium. Medical plans are available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Additionally, one in three Fortune 500 companies offers VPI Pet Insurance as an employee benefit.

Insurance plans are offered and administered by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company in California and DVM Insurance Agency in all other states. Underwritten by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company (CA), Brea, CA, an A.M. Best A rated company (2013); National Casualty Company (all other states), Madison, WI, an A.M. Best A+ rated company (2014). Veterinary Pet Insurance, VPI and the cat/dog logo are service marks of Veterinary Pet Insurance Company. Nationwide, the Nationwide N and Eagle, and Nationwide Is On Your Side are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. ©2015 Veterinary Pet Insurance Company and Nationwide. Pet owners can find VPI Pet Insurance on Facebook or follow @VPI on Twitter. For more information about VPI Pet Insurance, call 800-USA-PETS (800-872-7387) or visit petinsurance.com.

 

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With a forecast of 95º weather and a heat index up to 102º some days,
it’s time for a reminder on how to prevent deadly heat stroke in pets.

Let your dog chill out this summer!

Let your dog chill out this summer!

Heat Stroke in Pets

Do you know how to protect your pets from heat stroke during the muggy days of summer?  This goes beyond the usual caveat of “never leave your pet in a car while you go shopping, babysit, attend a sporting event, spy on your girlfriend, etc.  Here are some tips to keep your pet safe in the yard or out and about:

  • Keep pets indoors as much as possible, especially if they are sluggish or panting soon after going outdoors.
  • Limit exercise to brief walks in the coolest parts of the day.  Keep in mind that hot pavement and sand can burn pets’ paws.
  • Provide plenty of cool water.  Check water throughout the day, as it can become hot if left outdoors. 
  • Kennels and pens should have good ventilation and air circulation and should be kept in shaded areas.

Here’s a super-cool idea: Check your dog into Happy Tails Resort in Norfolk
and let her enjoy the indoor swimming pool and play area!

Warning Signs of Heat Stroke or Heat Stress

Your pet may need emergency assistance if it exhibits any of the following signs:

  • Excessive panting and drooling
  • Bright red gums
  • Balance problems
  • Lethargy
  • Staring or anxious expression
  • Labored breathing
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Failure to respond to commands
  • High fever
  • Collapse

What To Do

Lower your pet’s body temperature by easing him into a cool (not freezing) bath.  Water from the outdoor hose may be hot, so that may not be your best option.  

Bring your pet indoors and place him in a tub, taking care to keep his mouth and nose above water [we use stacks of towels to accomplish this.] 

Apply ice packs to his head and neck. 

Call your veterinarian for further instructions.  In most cases, your pet will be hospitalized for treatment and observation.  By necessity, this sort of care may take place at the 24-hour emergency hospital.

Good news from the North: Rhode Island passed a bill making it illegal
to leave a pet in a car in hot or freezing weather!

Who Is At Risk of Heat Stroke?

Any pet can have heat stroke, but some are more susceptible than others. All pets need to be protected on hot days.  However, these pets are more likely than others to have a problem:

  • Very young and older pets
  • Short-nosed/pug-nosed breeds
  • Overweight pets
  • Pets with cardiovascular or respiratory disorders
  • Pets with a previous history of heat stress

Heat stroke is a life-threatening emergency.  If you suspect your pet has heat stroke, we recommend taking him to the nearest emergency hospital for comprehensive care.

[Information borrowed from “Summer Pet Tips” by Ralston Purina Company and “Summer Safety Tips” by Firstline magazine.]

****************************************************************************************
This article was originally published on July 28, 2010.

Photo credit: By Leif Skoogfors (This image is from the FEMA Photo Library.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Read Full Post »

Pool time by Leif Skoogfors

Keep your pet cool this summer!

Heat Stroke in Pets

Do you know how to protect your pets from heat stroke during the muggy days of summer?  This goes beyond the usual caveat of “never leave your pet in a car while you go shopping, babysit, attend a sporting event, spy on your girlfriend, etc.  Here are some tips to keep your pet safe in the yard or out and about:

  • Keep pets indoors as much as possible, especially if they are sluggish or panting soon after going outdoors.
  • Limit exercise to brief walks in the coolest parts of the day.  Keep in mind that hot pavement and sand can burn pets’ paws.
  • Provide plenty of cool water.  Check water throughout the day, as it can become hot if left outdoors. 
  • Kennels and pens should have good ventilation and air circulation and should be kept in shaded areas.

Warning Signs of Heat Stroke or Heat Stress

Your pet may need emergency assistance if it exhibits any of the following signs:

  • Excessive panting and drooling
  • Bright red gums
  • Balance problems
  • Lethargy
  • Staring or anxious expression
  • Labored breathing
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Failure to respond to commands
  • High fever
  • Collapse

What To Do

Lower your pet’s body temperature by easing him into a cool (not freezing) bath.  Water from the outdoor hose may be hot, so that may not be your best option.  

Bring your pet indoors and place him in a tub, taking care to keep his mouth and nose above water [we use stacks of towels to accomplish this.] 

Apply ice packs to his head and neck

Call your veterinarian for further instructions.  In most cases, your pet will be hospitalized for treatment and observation.  By necessity, this sort of care may take place at the 24-hour emergency hospital.

Who Is At Risk of Heat Stroke?

Any pet can have heat stroke, but some are more susceptible than others. All pets need to be protected on hot days.  However, these pets are more likely than others to have a problem:

  • Very young and older pets
  • Short-nosed/pug-nosed breeds
  • Overweight pets
  • Pets with cardiovascular or respiratory disorders
  • Pets with a previous history of heat stress

Heat stroke is a life-threatening emergency.  If you suspect your pet has heat stroke, we recommend taking him to the nearest emergency hospital for comprehensive care.

[Information borrowed from “Summer Pet Tips” by Ralston Purina Company and “Summer Safety Tips” by Firstline magazine.]

****************************************************************************************
This article was originally published on July 28, 2010.

Photo credit: By Leif Skoogfors (This image is from the FEMA Photo Library.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

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