Summer is a time when we often see cases of heat stroke & related problems such as heart failure or respiratory distress.
This is due to owners being caught out by the variable weather and suddenly having a hot day out of the blue. We especially see problems with dogs kept in cars or in conservatories, where the environment magnifies the problem.
Dogs are especially susceptible to heat stroke as unlike humans they only sweat from their feet, to cool down they have to be able to pant and also be able to drink water.
Signs of heat stroke can range from excessive breathlessness and listlessness through to full blown collapse and even death.
Certain breeds and pets are mores susceptible and extra care should be taken with elderly, overweight, dogs with pre-existing heart problems or breeds with shorter noses such as Bulldogs, but remember any dog or other pet can be effected.
If you are concerned about heat stroke phone us immediately for advice and an emergency consultation, normally the hyperthermia can be controlled using intravenous fluids, nursing and drugs, especially if we can see the patient soon enough.
Prevention is always the best way to keep your pets safe and involves awareness from owners, never leaving pets in cars or behind glass when the temperature is very hot, always providing water, a shady spot and some ventilation for your pet.
If you think they may be slightly overheating then use a water spray or wet cold towel to cool them down while providing a fan to help keep the air moving.
Also never work/over exercise your dog in hot weather- where possible wait until dusk & dawn to go for your walks and playtime.
Always carry some water & a bowl with you if you are exercising in hot weather and try to keep to shady walks such as in the woods rather than open spaces.
Enjoy the Summer with your pet but always be aware of the dangers of heat stroke!
A day out at the beach is great fun, but follow our top tips to keep your dog safe and healthy
1. Create some shade and offer lots of fresh water.
This prevents heatstroke and discourages them from drinking sea water which contains salt, bacteria and parasites that may make them ill.
2. Hot sun and sand.
If the sand is too hot for you to walk on it is too hot for your dogs paws and if you are covering up with sun cream don’t forget those with pink ears, white hair and short coats.
3. Keep a close eye on your dog at all times.
Although most dogs are strong swimmers the sea is not the best place for new swimmers. Strong tides and rolling waves can quickly exhaust even the most experienced swimmers.
Dogs love to explore they can find things on the beach including jelly fish, palm oil and discarded rubbish that can make them ill.
4. Running and playing with toys is great fun.
But running on sand is hard work than running on grass so dogs can overexert themselves easily.
Picking up balls and toys a number of times can lead to sand ingestion that if enough is swallowed can cause a blockage – use frisbees instead.