Thursday, 5 July 2012

Hot Dogs #2 To walk or not to walk in the heat!

Hi Everyone.
 My mom has been away for her birthday. I was in charge of my sisters and my brother while we were in the care of the doggy sitter. Max, my brother is a bad ass Jack Russell and can be quite a handful. He was his usual ornery self  while mom was away, growling at anyone that goes near his bed.  I was very happy to see her and my dad come home.
 Today I want to remind everyone about Hot Dogs again but this time about exercising such as chasing a ball, or staying out side for extended periods, or walking dogs in this heat. The temperatures will soar to 35 degrees tomorrow and it has been very humid. Not much relief in sight either.
Dogs do not sweat like humans.  Dogs release heat by panting. The only limited way they sweat is through the foot pads and nose. So they cannot cool themselves like humans. AND you may have noticed the fur.
If you must walk your dog in this heat it must be done in the early morning or after sundown. Keep exercise brief (ten minutes) and if need be put a wet shirt on the dog to keep him cool while walking.
 If a dog cannot effectively rid himself of  heat, the internal body temperature begins to rise. Once the dog's temperature reaches 106°, damage to the body's cellular system and organs may become irreversible.
Too many dogs succumb to heat stroke when it could have been avoided. Learn how to recognise the signs of heat stroke and prevent it from happening to your dog. Prevention is better than treatment.

Watch for these symptoms of heat stroke and take action immediately
  • Rectal temperature over 104° requires action, over 106° is a dire emergency
  • Panting hard
  • Lying down and unwilling or cannot get up or stand up
  • Look in the mouth  for:
    • Gums that are dark red
    • Dry mouth
    • Sticky, thick saliva
  • Staggering, dizziness or confusion
  • Collapse or loss of consciousness
Immediate action is needed to save the dog's life or prevent permanent organ damage!

First - get the dog out of the heat! Find shade or get the dog in a cool house.

  • Cool the dog by compressing with cool wet washcloths (not ice or extremely cold water) around the face and body and foot pads.
  • The aim is to cool to 103° by rectal temperature
  • Encourage the dog to drink cool water and have someone call the vet while you administer these first aid measures - you must see the vet! If the temperature exceeds 104° or the dog has the above signs and symptoms it is a  medical emergency
  •  Heat stroke has serious consequences - avoid at all costs.
Your dog may be antsy to go out for a walk but figure out a way to entertain him in the house and walk briefly in the coolest part of the day.
Don't forget the wet shirt! Stay cool.
Love Augie

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