Posts Tagged ‘summer safety’

The heat index for this week is predicted to be just over 100° F in Norfolk, Virginia Beach, and elsewhere in Hampton Roads. That makes it risky for people and their pets to spend much time outdoors. Heat stroke under these weather conditions is a real and present danger.

Dr. Donald Miele, a Norfolk veterinarian, recommends restricting pet exercise to cooler hours of the day and night; keeping pets in air conditioned areas during the day; and providing plenty of cool water to drink.

Here are some handy reminders on how to protect your pets from hot cars and hot pavement:

[Hint: NEVER leave your pet in the car!]

Source: ASPCA — Click or double-click to enlarge

www.aspca.org

 

Source unknown

Keep in mind that asphalt can retain heat even after air temperature drops, so check the pavement as suggested below:

 

Source: Nationwide — Click or double-click to enlarge

www.petinsurance.com

Read Full Post »

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

Photo by Pixabay via Pexels

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.

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, 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 a veterinary 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 veterinary 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.

Read Full Post »

Today we present a guest post by Dr. Heather Brookshire, a veterinary ophthalmolgist at the Animal Vision Center of Virginia.
By Dr. Heather Brookshire
Animal Vision Center of Virginia
It’s so much fun to bring our pets to the beach or park, but we can occasionally see ocular problems such as conjunctivitis (“pink eye”) or corneal ulcers from the irritating effects of sand and wind-borne grass and particles on the surface of the eye. Pets are especially prone to these medical issues since they are so much closer to the ground! 
 
As an example, meet Ein*. We saw this 10-month old Corgi earlier this year to examine a non-healing corneal ulcer. His owner had been treating him for the past two weeks, with no improvement. When he told us that Ein loves to bound through the grassy fields near home, we discovered the culprit – a large and bristly grass awn that had become imbedded behind his third eyelid. As you will see in this video, it took just a moment to retrieve the irksome grass particle. Ein, and his owner, were quite relieved!
 
There are many months ahead for our pets to enjoy a romp in the great outdoors, so please keep the following solutions close at hand to administer relief to irritated eyes:
  • To flush out sand or wind-born particles, use a sterile saline eye-irrigating solution to rinse out your pet’s eyes if your notice any squinting or redness.   
  • Try using an over-the-counter topical lubricating drop (such as Genteal gel, Refresh pm, Blink, and Systane) after a long day at the beach to help sooth your pet’s irritated eyes.
  • If your pet is used to spending most of their time indoors, a sudden change in the amount of time spent outdoors during the summer can occasionally cause a flare-up of allergies (both systemic and ocular). Ocular signs of allergies can include increased redness, itchiness, pawing at the eyes and increased discharge from the eyes. Use one of the lubricating drops mentioned above, or try an over-the-counter topical antihistamine drop such as Zaditor, Allaway, Naphcon-A, or Claritin-eye to temporarily alleviate your pet’s discomfort. 
  • Finally, and this is very important, if your pet does not get better after 1-2 days of trying these at-home remedies, seek urgent veterinary care from either your local family veterinarian or veterinary ophthalmologist, as eye conditions can progress very rapidly.

***********************************************************************
Reprinted with permission.

This article is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition and is not a substitute for an examination by your pet’s veterinarian.

Your pet’s eyes are delicate organs. If you have a concern about your pet’s eyes, Contact Us to schedule an appointment with our veterinarian.

*Ein is a patient of AVCV; Little Creek Veterinary Clinic is not associated with this patient or its treatment.

Read Full Post »

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.  

Read Full Post »

With summer vacation in full swing, pet owners will be taking advantage of the season to go camping, hiking, swimming, and playing in the backyard with their dogs. 

But they’re not the only ones out in force — wild animals will be enjoying the weather, too.  The problem is, wildlife can leave behind a bacterium called Leptospirosis, which infects both people and their pets.

This raccoon may be carrying Leptospirosis - a bacteria dangerous to people and pets.

This raccoon may be carrying Leptospirosis – a bacteria dangerous to people and pets.

LEPTOSPIROSIS PROFILE

Found in:  Water, soil, mud, and food contaminated with animal urine.  Flood water is especially hazardous.  Also found in an infected animal’s tissues and bodily fluids such as blood and urine.

Host animals:  Raccoons, squirrels, opossums, deer, skunks, rodents, livestock, dogs, and rarely in cats.

Points of entry:  Cut or scratch on the skin; mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, mouth; inhaling aerosolized fluids.  Drinking contaminated water; exposure to flood water.

Symptoms in people:  Fever, headache, chills, muscle aches, jaundice, vomiting, rash, anemia, meningitis.  Some people show no symptoms.

Symptoms in pets:  Fever, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, loss of appetite, weakness, depression, stiffness, muscle pain.  Some pets show no symptoms.  The disease can be fatal in pets.

When will it show up in my pet:  Between 5-14 days post-exposure, although in some cases it may take up to 30 days.

Gravity:  In people, Lepto infection can lead to kidney and liver failure, and death if left untreated.

Who is at risk:  Campers, water sportsmen, farmers, military, to name a few.

Prevention

  • Vaccinate dogs annually for Leptospirosis
  • Don’t allow dogs to drink from puddles, streams, lakes, or other water that may be contaminated by animal urine
  • Don’t swim in water that may be contaminated by animal urine
  • Wear shoes when outdoors
  • Keep dogs out of children’s play areas
  • Control rodents around your home and yard

Resources: 

http://www.cdc.gov/leptospirosis/index.html  Visit the CDC website for comprehensive information on Leptospirosis in people and pets.

http://www.cdc.gov/leptospirosis/pdf/fact-sheet.pdf  Print your own Lepto fact sheet, or send us a message using the contact form, and we’ll print one for you.

***********************************************************************************
This article was originally posted on July 8, 2011.

Photo credit: D. Gordon E. Robertson, 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

 

Read Full Post »

     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.]

**************************************************************************************
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.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »