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 Dog Heatstroke Survival Guide

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PostSubject: Dog Heatstroke Survival Guide   Mon Jun 29, 2009 2:48 pm

With the met office reporting temperatures to soar to 33 degrees this week, i think the info below which i received via another board will be appreciated by many.

With Permission:

Dog Heatstroke Survival Guide
Know how to treat and prevent this dangerous condition.
Robert Newman

What is heatstroke?

In simple terms, heatstroke occurs when a dog loses its natural ability to regulate its body temperature. Dogs don't sweat all over their bodies the way humans do. Canine body temperature is primarily regulated through respiration (i.e., panting). If a dog's respiratory tract cannot evacuate heat quickly enough, heatstroke can occur.

To know whether or not your dog is suffering from heatstroke (as opposed to merely heat exposure), it's important to know the signs of heatstroke.

A dog's normal resting temperature is about 100.5 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Once a dog's temperature rises above 105 degrees, physiological changes start to take place, and the dog begins to experience the effects of heatstroke. At 106 to 108 degrees, the dog begins to suffer irreversible damage to the kidneys, liver, gastrointestinal tract, heart and brain.

If a dog is experiencing heatstroke, you may observe excessive panting; hyperventilation; increased salivation; dry gums that become pale, grayish and tacky; rapid or erratic pulse; weakness; confusion; inattention; vomiting; diarrhea; and possible rectal bleeding. If the dog continues to overheat, breathing efforts become slowed or absent, and finally, seizures or coma can occur.
The amount of damage a dog sustains when stricken with heatstroke depends on the magnitude and duration of the exposure. The longer and more severe the exposure, the worse the damage will be.

What to do

1 Pay attention to your dog. Recognizing the symptoms of heatstroke and responding quickly is essential for the best possible outcome.

2 Get into the shade. If you think your dog is suffering from heatstroke, move it into a shaded area and out of direct sunlight. Apply cool water to the inner thighs and stomach of the dog, where there's a higher concentration of relatively superficial, large blood vessels. Apply cool water to the foot pads, as well.

3 Use running water. A faucet or hose is the best way to wet down your dog's body. Never submerge your dog in water, such as in a pool or tub - this could cool the dog too rapidly, leading to further complications, including cardiac arrest and bloating.

4 Use cool - not cold - water. Many people make the mistake of using cold water or ice to cool the dog. When faced with a dog suffering from heatstroke, remember that the goal is to cool the dog. Using ice or extremely cold water is actually counterproductive to this process because ice and cold water cause the blood vessels to constrict, which slows blood flow, thus slowing the cooling process.

5 Don't cover the dog. One of the keys to successfully cooling your dog is ensuring the water being placed on the dog can evaporate. Never cover an overheated dog with a wet towel or blanket. This inhibits evaporation and creates a sauna effect around your dog's body. Likewise, don't wet the dog down and put it into an enclosed area, such as a kennel. Any air flow during the cooling process is helpful in reducing the dog's body temperature. Sitting with the wet dog in a running car with the air conditioner blowing is an ideal cooling situation.

6 Keep the dog moving. It's important to try to encourage your dog to stand or walk slowly as it cools down. This is because the circulating blood tends to pool in certain areas if the dog is lying down, thus preventing the cooled blood from circulating back to the core.

7 Allow the dog to drink small amounts of water. Cooling the dog is the first priority. Hydration is the next. Don't allow the dog to gulp water. Instead, offer small amounts of water that's cool, but not cold. If the dog drinks too much water too rapidly, it could lead to vomiting or bloat.

8 Avoid giving human performance drinks. Performance beverages designed for humans are not recommended because they are not formulated with the canine's physiology in mind. If you can't get an overheated dog to drink water, try offering chicken- or beef-based broths.

See a veterinarian
Once your dog's temperature begins to drop, cease the cooling efforts and bring the dog to a veterinarian as soon as possible. Your dog's temperature should be allowed to slowly return to normal once cooling has begun. A dog that's cooled too quickly may become hypothermic.

Even if your dog appears to be fully recovered, the veterinarian needs to check to determine if the heatstroke caused any damage to your dog's kidneys and liver. The effects of heatstroke can continue for 48 to 72 hours longer, even if your dog appears normal.

William Grant, DVM, a veterinarian for 20 years and former president of the Southern California Veterinary Medical Association, has treated hundreds of cases of heatstroke, ranging from mild to fatal.

According to Grant, the most common cause of death following heatstroke is disseminated intravascular coagulopathy (blood coagulating throughout the body), or DIC, which can occur hours or days after the heatstroke episode.

DIC can also be caused by pyometra or septicemia, but Grant says heatstroke is the most common cause. "Once a dog develops DIC, it may bleed in the thorax, abdomen, nose and intestine," Grant says. "Once the blood-clotting factors are consumed, there is an inability of the blood vessels to prevent leaking; the condition is almost always fatal." For this reason, follow-up veterinary care is essential following a heatstroke episode, even if your dog seems to be completely fine.

Prevention is the best medicine
The best treatment for heatstroke is prevention. Especially during the summer months, it's essential to be aware of the potential for heatstroke. Knowing the signs of heatstroke, and taking the necessary steps to prevent it, will ensure your dog can have a safe and active life year-round.
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PostSubject: Re: Dog Heatstroke Survival Guide   Mon Jun 29, 2009 7:39 pm

thanks alot for posting this
a horrible note to add- i do know someone whos saint died today after a 20 min walk at lunchtime! what a stupid thing to do i know ( they then foned a friend of mine to cry- i dont know them)
sure brings it home how hot it is- i may well not take diesel showing on wednesday
cheri
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PostSubject: Re: Dog Heatstroke Survival Guide   Mon Jun 29, 2009 8:14 pm

It is a worry, i have unfortunately had first hand experience of a dog overheating just 18mths ago, was extremely scary!

It was a very close encounter with nearly loosing our Cody to these.
Fans are always plentiful, as is cold fresh water & doors open for extra coolness, & it had been very humid where we are. Cody got himself into such a state, he collapsed, no matter what we did at home for him to keep him cool , we were syringing water down him to refresh him, he refused to do it on his own!
We had a bitch in season, & as boys do they refuse food, drink & get themselves in to a right tizzy! Cody could sence she was 'going over' so in his mind it was a now or never got to mate her panic moment.
We moved our girl well out of his way, but alas his nose told him there was a lady that needed him. In a very short space of time through exhaustion, He was like a rag doll, it happened so quickly. He exhausted himself by barking for her, panting & refusing to drink or eat of his own accord for fear of missing out on our girl (who he wasnt having a mating with anyway!!) He
got worse by the minute. In the end we got him into our front garden that was cool, shaded & put cold towels & a hose over him…. It was a very scary situation, one that lasted over 3 hours from collapse to him being steady to walk.
Our vet was uncontactable, so I foned a friend in the name of Ann Marie Cronin. She was a godsend (she was doing her veterinary exams at the time!) She kept me calm,talked to me & told me what needed doing, Panic was not the word I was in!
Eventually Codys temperature started to come down & he was able to drink of his own accord & responsive enough to get up on his feet & bring back into the house. This was a situation I would not want anyone to experience, but its one that most of us may have & it helps to know how others have handled it.
Steve & I watched over him During the night & after giving him lectade & rehydration drinks, a cool fan directly on him, he appeared bright eyed & bushy
tailed this morning as though nothing had happened but it so could have been the other way.
It happens so quicky when we dont expect it. One minute they are fine & the next they collapse in exhaustion. Codys situation was escalated by one of our girls being in season, but none the less it doesnt necessarily have to be sunny for them to overheat with the weather being so humid.
Please, no matter what keep an eye, it doesnt take much to exhaust one Saint, especially if they have other things on their mind as did Cody!
Thankfully a happy ending!
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PostSubject: Re: Dog Heatstroke Survival Guide   Wed Apr 21, 2010 3:49 pm

With the warmer weather here soon (?!) i thought this was worth 'Bumping up for any newer members who have not seen it before & for anyone wanting to do as we have, print it off & pin it up where it can be seen, just incase!

Remember, the sun doesn't have to be out for the dog to suffer the heat.
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PostSubject: Re: Dog Heatstroke Survival Guide   Wed Apr 21, 2010 4:05 pm

good point kathy !

have now made this sticky for the time being!



cheri
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PostSubject: Re: Dog Heatstroke Survival Guide   Wed Apr 21, 2010 4:07 pm

Thanks Cheri ... good idea!!
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PostSubject: Re: Dog Heatstroke Survival Guide   Thu Apr 22, 2010 7:35 pm

Its awful to have to monitor the weather so much, but i am extremely vigilant of how hot it is, and how far the boys walk in even the mild weather we have had recently.
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PostSubject: Re: Dog Heatstroke Survival Guide   Sun Oct 23, 2011 1:23 pm

When it is hot, I never let my dog outside or under the sun, and I never let my dog's bowl with no water. Heat stroke is getting frequent because of global warming.
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