Thursday, June 23, 2016

Avoid "hot dogs" this summer

Remember your four-legged friends when venturing out in the heat. Caitlin Kelly writes about this in the New York Times.

She cites a friend's husband's experience in going for a 5-mile run with his border terrier. He brought water, a collapsible bowl, but ended up taking the dog to the animal hospital anyway. By the time they got home, even after plenty of water and rest stops, the little dog was almost unresponsive.

At the vet, his temp was 105 (normal is 101.5). He animal went into intensive care, with meds to raise his heart rate and plenty of IV fluids. A week later, he was fine.

There are no stats on how many dogs suffer heatstroke, but caution is in order. Dogs cannot sweat--so they pant out the heat or sweat through the bottom of their paws.

If the dog is running (say alongside you or alongside you on your bike), they cannot discharge the heat fast enough, especially if it's humid.

A first sign of trouble can be seizures!

The dog's gums and tongue will turn a deep red.

Those flat-faced breeds like pugs and Pekinese are especially heat-prone. Older and overweight dogs are also at more risk.

Also--you may be asking your dog to walk on hot concrete. Hotter than you could stand in barefeet.

If you have your dog out in the heat, pay attention to the animal.  Run in the early morning or after sunset.

If the dog slows down or stops--let it rest.

If  the animal shows the red tongue, is glazed, or pants like mad, try to get him or her into water or drape with a wet piece of towel or clothing.

If the situation persists, get to the vet. Organ failure can be rapid.

Well, isn't this peppy? I am writing it, though, because in the comment section of the story, many readers said they had never thought of this.

The dog is outside in the heat in a fur coat! Think of this.

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