Ray Waisler wrote a very good piece about the care of our four-legged friends. As a dog lover myself, I care about animals whether or not it's mine. If you own a pet, care for them like you care for your children. They cannot speak, soyou have to be proactive and use good judgment. Please stop by Ray's Blog and leave him a comment.
Dogs in heat
First get your mind out of the gutter; this is actually about dogs in the heat. As the summer approaches and the temperatures climb, it is important to keep your dog cool (I don't mean to put cool sunglasses or leather a jacket on him). Dogs do not have sweat glands and can't cool themselves off by any other means than panting, which is not as effective as sweating. Unfortunately, wearing a fur coat in 90 degree weather does not help so overheating dogs is a big problem as they are much more susceptible to heat stroke than humans.
Heat stoke to a dog is deadly and can cause dehydration, blood thickening, strain on the heart, blood clotting, death to tissue, brain damage vital organ failure and death. Normal body temperature for a dog is between 101F to 102F and if it reaches 106F the dog is in serious trouble and even if he recovers he can still have organ damage and lifelong health problems.
Leaving a dog in the car in the heat is a major no-no. if you think you'll be in the store for just a few minutes consider that on an 80F day the temperature in a parked car can reach 120 F in as little as ten minutes. Leaving the windows cracked helps very little and if it's a humid day, the dog doesn't have a shot. Remember he's wearing a fur coat year round and even when you're comfortable, he's warm. If you want to go for a run with your buddy on a hot summer day....don't! He can't sweat to cool himself off and no matter how much he pants, it's just not enough.
Heat stroke is deadly and it is an EMERGENCY so get him to a veterinarian ASAP and try to cool him off on the way. Some of the symptoms of heat stroke are rapid frantic panting, wide eyes, thick saliva, bright red tongue, vomiting, staggering, diarrhea and coma. If you see any of these symptoms, please get him to a vet ASAP.
We lost one of our dogs last year to heat stroke while on a casual hike in north Georgia. Had I know then what I know now, I would never allowed him to come along. I am thankful that our other dog is considerably younger and fared well and you can rest assured he will never go hiking with us again in anything above 75 F.
To learn more about prevention and symptoms please visit the following sites: