Posts Tagged ‘Pug dogs’

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.]

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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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     One of the most serious risks of leaving a pet outdoors during the summer is Heat Stress.  Heat Stress occurs when the pet’s body is unable to cool itself, resulting in dehydration, brain damage, organ failure, even death. 

This guy knows how to chill out in a cool pool.

     Most pet owners are aware of the danger in leaving a pet in a parked car for even a few minutes.  However, pets left outdoors without adequate cool shelter are also at risk.  Purina provides the following tips and advice:

     “Any pet can suffer from heat stress.  However, particularly susceptible are:

  • Very young and older pets
  • Pets with a previous history of heat stress
  • Short-nosed [pug-nosed] breeds (Bulldogs, Pugs, Lhasa Apsos, etc.)
  • Overweight pets
  • Pets with cardiovascular or respiratory disorders

     Help prevent heat stress by:

  • Providing plenty of clean, fresh water for your pet at all times*
  • Providing adequate ventilation and air circulation when pets are kept in kennels or pens
  • Providing shade cover when pets are outdoors
  • Avoiding excessive exercise of pets during hot weather
  • Never leaving pets in parked vehicles

     “Some signs of heat stress are profuse panting and salivation, staring or an anxious expression, failure to respond to commands, warm dry skin, rapid heartbeat, fatigue, muscular weakness or collapse.
     “If your pet has heat stress, try to reduce his temperature by gradually immersing your pet in cool water, spraying him with cool water or applying ice packs to his head and neck.  Then take your pet to the veterinarian immediately.”

     *Keep in mind that water left outdoors (especially in metal bowls) can become too hot to drink or provide any cooling benefit.  Check and change the water often.

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

[Purina’s booklet of Spring and Summer Pet Care Tips is available at our office.]

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This article was originally posted on June 10, 2011.
Photo:  Search and Rescue dog FloJo cools off after a training session in Florida.  Photo by Leif Skoogfors.  From the FEMA Photo Library, via Wikimedia Commons.

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