Thursday, June 18, 2009

Heat Strokes, and Hydration

Keeping your dog safe from the Summer Heat.

Let me begin by sharing a few yahoo groups with you: (click on list below)

Canine Cushings-Autoimmune Care

K9 Epileptics summary

Seizures in Dogs

How to recognize heat stroke in dogs:

Most pet parents don't recognize signs of heat stroke in pets until it is too late. Otherwise may try and rush their pets to the vet in an attempt to hope for treatment upon arrival.... but this could be too late as well.

Recognizing heat stroke in dogs is the first step. You may find your dog slow down on walks or while playing, you may find their pupils begin to dilate, get wider or set backwards, dogs may start panting heavily, excessively and with more difficulty, and you may be even able to spot them get a little stiff possibly and off balance showing weakness. Also during a heat stroke, your dog's saliva becomes thick and sticky and their gums will appear pale and dry.

If you suspect your dog may be having a heat stroke, quickly take his/her temperature. At Doglando, we keep several thermometers around, to ensure we have access to them easily; especially during the summer.

Your dog's normal temperature reading should be between 100.5 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Depending on the type of dog, weight and over all health condition of dog, a dog could be suffering from a heat stroke even at 104 degrees Fahrenheit.

A reading at 106 degrees F, is a dog in real danger.

What to do:

1. Carry dog to the nearest shade; preferably to an indoor air conditioned space. if you have a second person, make sure one person is holding dog down on floor in place, to prevent further injuries.
2. Fill up sink with cool water, and even place some ice in water. Throw towels in sink and go to step 3.
3. Soak up cotton balls in alcohol and press in between all four paw pads. Pour alcohol on cotton balls and place in dog's ears (make sure they are not small enough to fall down dogs ear).
4. Ring out towels and wrap one around your dogs head (not covering snout), one around dog's belly, and one on dog's hind legs.
5. Take another reading to check on temperature.....
5. Place a fan on highest setting directly in front of dog to help run cool air.
6. Repeat step 3 frequently..... alcohol is the fastest way to drop temperature in dogs.
7. Repeat step 4 as needed.
8. Try and bring your dog's temperature down at least a degree or two (depending on the reading) before rushing your dog to the vet. This may save your dogs life!

Practice safety:
1. Monitor your dogs heart rate, breathing rate and pace while outdoors.
2. Make sure they are drinking lots of water.
3. Always have available to your pets fresh and cool water. Do not leave water bowls outdoors.
4. Make them take frequent breaks.
5. Does not harm to take frequent readings especially for dogs that spend a lot of time outdoors... we do that for dogs attending doggy daycare at Doglando.
6. Keep your dogs slim, trim and in shape. Dog's that are overweight and out of shape are more susceptible to heatsroke than those that are in good weight and healthy.
7. Don't leave your dogs out unsupervised.

Dog Responsibly.... University of Doglando


Denise Zaldivar with IES said...

Hello, Teena!

I have a very important question: How do you correctly take a dog's temperature? My Vet always takes it away from me (not in the exam room), and I never get to see it!

Many thanks for such an important post!


Teena Patel said...

Good Question Denise....

If you click on the word "thermometer" it will direct you to CVS' website. This is the thermometer we use at Doglando. It comes with a box of very thin plastic sleeves that you place over the thermometer and insert into dogs anus. Then hit start.

If you are by yourself, place dog over one of your knees while the other knee is on the ground. If you can not picture this, just brace the dog so that she / he is comfortable and you have a good grip over them. Lift the dog's tail and insert the thermometer. You do not need to stick it too far in.... just about an inch and a half or so.

This particular thermometer is really easy to use. If you have any lubrication, you can lubricate the plastic sleeve before taking the reading. Be sure to discard the sleeve after each reading.

Hope this makes sense.