Posts Tagged 'heat stroke dogs'

Heat Stroke in Dogs – It Can Be Fatal – What You Need to Know

Summer has arrived, and before anything happens we want you to be reminded. A most dangerous condition is heat stroke. Make no mistake, heat stroke can be fatal. The shortest interval between exposure to high heat extremes and death is about 20 minutes.

All mammals can suffer from heat related illness that include heat stroke, heat exhaustion and heat cramps. Don’t let your dog become a statistic by being one of the many that will suffer from heat related illnesses. With common sense and proper precaution, a tragedy by falling victim to heat related illness can be avoided.

A high body temperature measured rectally of 105 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit can cause lethargy, weakness, collapse or coma. Body temperatures over 107 Fahrenheit are a critical emergency. Organ damage occurs at this temperature and most dogs won’t drink water at this stage of heat stroke. It isn’t a good idea to spend time trying to get them to. At the first signs of serious heat distress, cool the dog immediately with cool or tepid water but not really cold water. If ice packs are available, apply to areas where circulation is very good, such as the “armpits”, stomach or neck. Blowing air over the dog with a fan as you cool it off with water can be helpful but it is most important to go quickly to the veterinarian.

Most people don’t carry around thermometers. However, the physical signs of heat stroke in dogs are usually enough to go by.

  • Panting
  • Hyperventilation (deep breathing)
  • Salivation early then dry gums as heat prostration sets in
  • Staring
  • Anxious expression
  • Refusal to obey commands
  • Warm, dry skin
  • High fever
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea and sometimes bleeding
  • Body collapse

High body temperatures develop from increased activity without rapid enough ability to dissipate and give off heat due to high heat and humidity or respiratory obstruction. Brachiocephalic (pug-nosed) dogs, overweight dogs, very young dogs and older dogs are most at risk.

  • To the best of your ability, keep pets indoors in a comfortable environment during extreme weather conditions.
  • Keep pets in well-ventilated areas.
  • Give your pet plenty of fresh cool water, and leave water in cool or shady areas.
  • Be sure that puppies and kittens drink adequate amounts.
  • Heat-related illness often occurs in the spring when your pet is not yet used to the new warmer temperatures; allow your pet to acclimate especially when traveling to a hotter climate.
  • Limit sun exposure during the peak mid-day heat hours.
  • Minimize exercise in hot weather.
  • Exercise in early morning or late in the evening (the coolest times of the day).

Don’t leave your pet in a car for any reason at any time – ever! If your dog can’t come with you when you leave the car, leave the dog home.  The car can become a death trap on a mild sunny day, and temperature can insidiously rise to well above 120 degrees. On a hot day, a car can heat up to 160 degrees in minutes!

If you haven’t seen some of the innovative solutions to the serious problem of heat dangers, take a look and you might want to avail your pet of modern thermoregulating technology, cooling jackets and cooling pet beds.

canine cooler smallCool_Bed_III SMALLERCanine Cooler 3 SIZES

Cool Bed III 3 SIZES

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WARNING: what you need to know about animal cruelty

This is a very difficult subject to write about especially since it triggers a bodily emotional response of various sorts when writing it, reading it, or telling it, and none of the emotional reactions are pleasant.

Even though it is not a pleasant topic to communicate, the fact that it is being told illustrates there is a need to do so and if it causes you to be more aware and maybe take some positive action when necessary it is then certainly worthwhile.

We are talking about abuse as a result of ignorance, benign neglect or acts of omission, indifference to suffering, and even acts of commission along with the pleasure in inflicting it upon people, dogs, cats and other pets.

The perpetrators of animal cruelty often portray themselves as kindly animal lovers. These people are some of our neighbors, friends of our associates and the people we do business with.

It’s hard to identify a person capable of committing unfathomable crimes of abuse against our voiceless pets. In the extreme case, animal abuse becomes a precursor to human-directed violence, and left untreated or dealt with it can escalate into further horrendous consequences.

We all must be aware of the signs and be willing to take action when it is suspected or witnessed, whether we are capable of doing so ourselves by educating the pet owner and then checking the situation for improvements, or by seeking the help of authorities and professionals such as your local police or SPCA. With your other important phone numbers, keep the necessary phone numbers handy in case you see a pet you don’t know or an animal that needs assistance.

You can help by being observant. Look for these unacceptable common signs of the abused or neglected:

(1) Dogs that cower fearfully or act aggressively when owners come near
(2) People not providing adequate care
(3) People kicking, hitting or physically abusing an animal
(4) Animals left without food, water or shelter, especially in extreme weather
(5) Animals kept under dirty conditions, such as standing in their own urine and excrement in confined areas
(6) Animals left in cars on hot (heat stroke) or cold days
(7) Proper veterinary care is not obtained
(8) Emaciation, no visible body fat, obvious loss of muscle mass
(9) Very thin, top of backbone visible, pelvic bones becoming prominent
(10) Grossly obese, massive fat deposits on chest, spine, and base of tail
(11) Severely overgrown nails curling under or curling upwards
(12) Severe flea or tick infestations left untreated
(13) Signs of ear infection, i.e. excessive scratching of the ear area, shaking of the head, dirt or discharge
(14) Wounds on the body
(15) Swellings, tumors or abscesses left untreated
(16) Limping
(17) Infected eyes left untreated
(18) Allowing a collar to grow into an animal’s skin
(19) Patches of missing hair
(20) Take notice and be aware of barking, whimpering, meowing or scratching from inside a home after the resident has moved

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Dog Exercise Means More Than A Brief Daily Walk If You Want Happy and Healthy

Exercise is important for everyone including your pet. Too much confinement can result in stress, emotional and behavioral problems, and a generally unhappy dog.

Emotional stress and loneliness alter neurochemical and vascular functions and can increase susceptibility to major diseases.

A lack of exercise leads to obesity, poor muscle tone, heart, bone, and emotional problems.

It’s important to understand what your dog’s instinctual traits are and incorporate them into activities and exercise. For a working breed, performing a task would be naturally satisfying, possibly pulling a wagon or carrying a pack with your water bottle. For a retriever breed, engage your dog in ball throwing and retrieving.

Exercising with your dog creates a human-dog bond in which the dog will sense you care as a good pack leader, which will make your dog happy.

A brief daily walk sometimes is not enough.

The exercise you choose for your dog should depend on the age, weight, health and breed characteristics. A Border Collie or Parson Russell Terrier needs more play and exercise than an English Bulldog or Pug.

Dogs on average should be exercised aerobically for at least 20-30 minutes each day, of course taking into consideration health and age limitations, unless there is a medical problem or a pregnancy.

Your exercise should include activities the dog finds stimulating and enjoys — games of catch, long walks, jogging, swimming and biking. A Ruff Dawg K9 flying disc is similar to a Frisbee, only more rugged, flexible and non-toxic for on-land or in water. Try a simple game with a rope tug toy, a Hyper Disc which is floatable, durable and soft on your dog’s mouth, or a Hyper Ball Launcher that allows you to launch a ball up to 220 feet. These and other quality dog exercise toys are available at CalloftheDogShop.

Caution should be used when exercising in the hot weather.

Use precaution when temperatures are approaching and greater than 100 degrees and for at-risk pets when approaching and at 90 degrees. Exercise in the early morning or evening and when the temperature is less than 80 degrees and humidity heat index is less then 30 percent. Heat index greater then 72 use precaution for at-risk breeds. Any relative-humidity reading above 17% will make the heat index higher if the actual temperature is above approximately 68 degrees. Full sunshine can increase heat index values by up to 15 degrees. Always avoid hot and humid conditions.

Dogs do not get rid of heat the way we do.

Sweat cools our skin; however, dogs do not sweat. They have a few sweat glands in their feet, but mostly they dissipate heat through their paws and mouths.

Dogs do not dissipate heat as fast as we can, which makes heat stroke a real possible danger. While they are having fun, many dogs will run themselves even to the point of collapse, which can prove to be fatal. Limit sun exposure during the mid-day hours and provide plenty of water in a shady area.

People assume that if your dog is in water, your pet won’t overheat. This just isn’t true when the water temperature gets much above 75 degrees and if the dog is working hard in the water.

Keep in mind that searing hot asphalt is not good for your dog’s paws.

Consult your veterinarian before you decide on a fitness program for your pet.

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Protecting Your Dog During the Summer

Dr. Louise Murray, DVM, made an appearance on Fox News this morning to speak about ways to protect your dog during the summer months.

Her salient points were:

  • For apartment dwellers, you should be sure to have screens on open windows so your dog won’t lean or jump out.
  • Heat stroke is a big problem for dogs in the hot weather. They dehydrate quickly, and flat-faced canines don’t pant very well. Look for gums getting very red, severe panting, lethargy and even vomiting as signs of heat stroke. The latter two signs mean your dog is already in the real danger zone, so be alert. Best thing to do is exercise your dog during the cooler parts of the day, before 10am and after 2pm.
  • Don’t leave your dog in a parked car in the hot weather. In 10 minutes, a car can get 20 degrees hotter. Leave your pet at home when you do your summer errands
  • Watch out for lawn products that may be toxic to your dog. If you see a suburban-perfect green lawn, you can assume there are chemicals present that may be harmful to your pet.

Click here for a quality selection of COOLING PRODUCTS FOR YOUR DOG

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Dog Cooling Jackets & Pet Beds Protect Against Heat Stroke and Exhaustion

People do not realize how many dogs and pets suffer the ravages of heat stroke, including brain damage and death. Dogs that spend a lot of time outdoors are most at risk, and this includes light activity or doing nothing. Brachiocephalic (pug-nosed) dogs are more susceptible to heat discomfort and heat stroke because their nasal passages are smaller and more difficult for them to circulate sufficient air for cooling. Puppies may not have fully developed temperature regulating systems, and older dogs’ organ systems may not function at peak levels. Overweight dogs are also more prone to heat stroke because extra layers of fat act as insulation, trapping heat in their bodies, restricting breathing.

What you do not know about dog cooling products places your pet at risk for heat difficulties and discomfort. Via thermoregulating technology, dog cooling jackets and cooling pet beds aid in your dog’s safety and comfort, and are available at very reasonable cost. Dog cooling beds, jackets and other technologically advanced products protect your pet from heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Instead of just panting and sweating through the pads of its paws, your dog is now able to remove the heat from its body faster and more efficiently than without a dog cooling jacket. A cooling jacket works through water-absorbing, cross-linked polymers sewn into supplex fabric. Just soak the dog cooling jacket thoroughly with water. After submerging the dog cooling jacket for just a few minutes, high technology crystals absorb enough to keep the evaporative process going for up to several days. Even when fully soaked, the dog cooling jacket holds the water, and will help your pet fight off heat exhaustion and stay comfortable on hot days, while keeping your dog cool and dry. This wonderful technologically-advanced product can be charged over and over. When the season turns to winter, the dry jacket becomes an insulating jacket, shielding against cold.



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