Vol 13 No 2

Summer 2011

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Let's Go Surfing Now

Heat Stroke

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Tales of Gold


You meant well when you decided to bring your dog with you on that hot summer day. And you only meant to run into the store for a few minutes…..

Sound familiar? 

Temperatures inside a car can soar to over 150 degrees in a matter of minutes, turning the inside of the car into an oven. Leaving your dog in a poorly ventilated car, with the windows partially open will probably result in heatstroke, a life-threatening condition that can be avoided.  LEAVE YOUR DOG HOME ON A HOT SUMMER DAY!

But beware – heatstroke doesn’t only happen in a car.  It can also happen right in your own backyard, just by leaving your dog outside in the blazing sun with no access to shelter or shade.  If your dog must be outside, make sure there is plenty of water available as well as a shady area where it can go to get out of the sun.

Signs and Symptoms

·        Rapid breathing through the mouth

·        Increased heart/pulse rate

·        Reddened gums or purple tongue

·        Vomiting

·        Thickened saliva

·        Dull, staring expression

·        Bloody diarrhea

·        Collapse

Medical Treatment

You must act immediately to bring the dog’s body temperature down, cooling it from the inside out. Move the dog inside or to a cooler, shady area and get it some cool (not cold) water to drink.  If water is not available, let it lick ice cubes or ice cream – not chocolate ice cream!

If the dog is unable to drink or is unconscious, DO NOT attempt to pour water down its throat.

You don’t want to add choking to this medical emergency.  Apply cool water all over its body.

Apply ice packs wrapped in a washcloth or towel to the top of its head, back of its neck and chest. DO NOT wrap the dog in a wet towel or blanket – this traps the heat next to the dog’s body.  Get the dog to the vet as soon as possible.  Heatstroke ALWAYS requires immediate veterinary attention.  Call them in advance to alert them of the emergency you are bringing in.