Jan 8, 2009

Coping With The Summer Heat

G'day Dog Lovers,

I've pasted the text from a very useful media release below - it's all about keeping your dog cool in summer and has plenty of good advice...

Vets warn of fatally high temperatures
Four dogs suffering from heat stroke were admitted to Murdoch’s Emergency
Veterinary Clinic over the past week, sparking a plea to owners to keep their pets

During the 2007 Christmas period the Murdoch Pet Emergency Centre treated multiple
cases of heat stroke with five dogs dying on their way to the emergency service.
Murdoch Senior Lecturer in Emergency and Critical Care Katrin Swindells said dog
owners should keep their pets cool this summer as the high temperatures forecast
could prove fatal for their pets.

"Signs of heat stroke include excessive and distressed panting and then collapse," Dr
Swindells said.

"Dogs try so hard to breathe that they cannot stop for long enough to drink water."
Particularly at risk are short nosed dogs that have noisy breathing normally, already
has heart or lung disease, or is obese. Dr Swindells said these dogs could develop
heat stroke at rest if environmental temperatures were high enough.

"Young or excitable dogs may play, or chase balls until they develop heat stroke and
this can happen very quickly," she said

Dr Swindells said if a dog appeared to be developing heatstroke, immediately stop any
exercise. "Actively cool the dog for at least five minutes by saturating the whole coat with a
hose or placing under a cold water shower," Dr Swindells said. "The owner should then immediately seek veterinary attention.

"During the drive to the veterinary clinic the air-conditioning should be on full or have
the windows open while continuing to wet the dog’s coat with a water bottle."

Summer tips for dog owners:
• Do not exercise your dogs in the heat of the day;
• Do not leave dogs in cars, even a few minutes;
• Make sure they have plenty of fresh water and shade and keep dogs at increased
risk inside, in air-conditioning if possible;
• If heat stroke is suspected immediately start cooling the dog with cold running
water for five minutes and then seek immediate veterinary attention.


Anonymous said...

Good post. I recommend plenty of fresh water kept in shadey places during the day. Take their collars off. Give them a clip if you can. Frozen bones. And of course a hose off or a swim :)

Unknown said...

Agree with plently of fresh cool water. Also the form of your dog affects their cooling ability. For example, dog that have been bred with extreme flat faces or shortened snouts have a lesser ability to control temperatures through air flow. In my three boers i have a large male with a slightly longer snout than many show breeders would like. However he cools very well. i have a very showie bitch that finds the heat difficult with a shorter snout and a bitch that I bred which could run in the midday sun on a thimble of water. Again a longer snout than the "show" type facial form. My experience is that you must take into account the individual dog when designing your heat protection for them. Most importantly you must have SHADE and VENTIATION. Never leave then penned in a area such as a tin shed or a hot indoor environment. (I know that sounds obvious but I am often surprised at what people do to their pets

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