"Good News" Magazine July '17 PP issue to publish online - Page 8

- PET HEALTH HIGHLIGHTS - Heat Stroke in Dogs We've unfortunately become all too familiar with stories about dogs suffering ill effects or worse from being left in a hot car. But heat stroke can affect dogs under many different conditions in the summer, as they are not as efficient at releasing heat as humans are. Dogs do not perspire the way we do, since the only sweat glands they have are on the pads of their feet. Be aware of conditions that may cause or exacerbate heat stroke. On a hot day, restrict exercise and don't take your dog jogging with you, which could be very dangerous. Elderly or obese dogs, or ones with a history of heart disease or seizures, are more likely to suffer from heat strokes, and may have a lower tolerance for increased heat. Animals with flat faces, like Pugs and Bulldogs, are more susceptible to heat stroke, since they cannot pant as effectively. Other breeds that do not tolerate heat as well as others include Boxers, Saint Bernards, Chow Chows, Cavalier Spaniels, Pomeranians, and Shih Tzus. It is vital to educate yourself on how to treat a dog experiencing heat stroke. Catching it in its early stages can save the dog's life, and reduce the possibility of permanent damage to his organs. Recognize the symptoms of heat stroke: • Excessive, rapid, or loud panting • Extreme thirst • Frequent vomiting, sometimes bloody • Diarrhea • A bright red tongue, pale gums • Skin around muzzle or neck doesn't snap back when pinched • Thick, sticky saliva • Increased heart rate. The dog’s heat stroke can be worsening if he begins to exhibit any of the following symptoms: • Increased difficulty breathing • Gums that turn bright red, then blue or purple • Depression, weakness, fatigue • Dizziness or Disorientation • Shock, collapse, or coma. If you have a rectal thermometer, take the dog’s temperature, which is higher than a human's, normally between 99.5 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. A dog is overheated if his temperature is above 103 degrees. If your dog is exhibiting heat stroke symptoms, and/or his temperature is higher than 103 degrees, remove him from the heat, preferably indoors, to an air-conditioned room, if possible. If it isn't, at least get him to a shaded area outdoors. Restrict the dog’s activity; do not allow him to jump or run around. It's even better to carry the dog to a cool place rather than have him walk. Offer the dog cool water, but keep the quantity small at first. Do not force feed him to drink, as he may inhale it or choke. If he cannot drink freely on his own, wet his lips, gums, and tongue with the water. If he is still uninterested in it, cool or room temperature beef or chicken broth is a good substitute, as long as it is low-fat and unsalted. Cool the dog's temperature down with water, but do not submerge him underwater completely or use very cold or ice water, as the body temperature can lower too quickly, possibly causing other threatening conditions. Wet his extremi- ties - his paws, head, and tail. Placing cool, wet towels on the back of the neck, groin, legs, and under his armpits is also helpful. Do not cover or confine the dog. If possible, let him lie on a cool tile floor, and have a fan blow cool air over him. Since dogs release heat from the pads of their feet, putting rubbing alcohol on the pads can help draw some of the heat out, as well. Make sure that his feet are exposed to cool air. Don't let your dog lick the alcohol off its pads, as it can be harmful if ingested. It is always imperative to call your veterinarian. Even if your dog seems to be responding well to your cooling efforts, you must take him to the vet. Internal organ damage you would be unaware of is a possible side effect of a heat stroke, and can be fatal. Your vet will lower your dog's body temperature to a safe range, and continually monitor it. Your dog will be given fluids, and maybe oxygen, and will be monitored for shock, kidney failure, respiratory distress, heart abnor- malities, and other complications, and treated accordingly. Dogs with moderate heatstroke often recover without compli- cations. Severe heatstroke can cause organ damage that might need ongoing care. Once a dog suffers from heatstroke, its risk of getting it again is increased, and steps must be taken to prevent it on hot, humid days. Use common sense - think of what it would feel like to wear a fur coat on a hot summer day, and follow these pre- cautions to prevent heatstroke in your pets: Provide your dog with shade and fresh, cool water at all times. Do not ever leave your pet in a hot parked car - even if you're parked in the shade or will only be gone for a short time. The temperature inside a parked car can quickly reach up to140 degrees. Do not muzzle your dog. Avoid pl 6W2ƖRFR&V6B67&WFR"7B&V2vW&RVB2&VfV7FVBBFW&R266W72F6FRFBfW"WW&66RW"WBBvVFW"`w6FfVǒWG2V