Jul 24 2017

Top Summer Risks for your pet

Heat Stroke and Dehydrationbulldog

Although heat stroke is not something we commonly see in veterinary medicine there are certainly cases reported. High risk breeds are brachycephalic, short nose breeds such as bull dogs, pugs and breeds that are always playing and get so focused they don’t stop like Border Collies or Golden retrievers playing fetch. Their internal heat can rise very quickly and above 42 degrees Celsius, organ failure and even possibly death can occur.

Symptoms of heat stroke include:lab swimming

  • Excess lethargy
  • Decreased urination
  • Dry gums
  • Refusal to eat
  • Sunken eyes
  • Loss of skin elasticity

If you suspect heat stroke please seek immediate veterinary attention. Remove your pet from the heat to the shade. Provide a fan, offer water (but do not force to drink), and apply wet towels to the armpits, neck and groin. It is important to not cool them too quickly so do not use ice.

You should always carry water for your pets and offer it often on hot days and when exercising. Do not worry if they are panting; this is how they stay cool and their tongue enlarges to increase the surface area. Kiddie pools and sprinklers are a great way for your pet to stay cool as well.

terriers

It’s Too Hot in the Car!dog in car

Please never leave your pet in the car. Unfortunately, there are always reports of this every summer even though there are lots of warnings. Even on days where the temperature is 22-26 degrees the car can reach temperatures of greater than 38 even with the windows cracked. Please do not rely on air conditioning. Leaving your car running is not good for the environment and there are cases where the air conditioning malfunctions and the pet over heats. Leave your pets at home or take them where ever you are going if you need to.

Keep Me Safe Near Water!spaniel

Just like we do with our kids, pets should be supervised near bodies of water. Especially those that are not familiar with pools, a pet could accidently slip in. If your pool is covered there is an even a greater risk for drowning, when pets get trapped under the cover.  Please keep a close eye on them.  If you plan to take your pet boating they should also be wearing a life jacket to keep them safe. If your dog enjoys swimming it is best to rinse them off. Chlorine, salt and bacteria can be hard on their skin so a good rinse with fresh water is ideal.brown lab

Just like we do with our kids, pets should be supervised near bodies of water. Especially those that are not familiar with pools, a pet could accidently slip in. If your pool is covered there is an even a greater risk for drowning, when pets get trapped under the cover.  Please keep a close eye on them.  If you plan to take your pet boating they should also be wearing a life jacket to keep them safe. If your dog enjoys swimming it is best to rinse them off. Chlorine, salt and bacteria can be hard on their skin so a good rinse with fresh water is ideal.

Standing water can also contain bacteria or parasites that can make our pets sick. Giardia, known as “beaver fever” in humans is a parasite usually found in water such as puddles. This parasite can cause diarrhea, vomiting and dehydration.  There is fecal testing that can be done to find this parasite and treat them appropriately. Leptospirosis is bacteria found in the urine of wildlife (skunks, raccoons) and is often picked up from drinking out of standing water. It can cause liver and kidney failure and can be life threatening if not caught in time. Leptospirosis is also zoonotic, meaning it can be transmitted to humans.  Symptoms of leptospirosis can be vague such as fever, joint stiffness, decreased appetite and drinking and urinating more. If you have concerns about this illness please seek immediate veterinary attention.

Ouch That Pavement is Hot!corgi

Most of us have heard the saying that you can fry an egg on the side walk when it is hot. Our pets generally do not where booties in the summer so we need to keep in mind the temperature of the substrate they are walking on. Also dogs that run around and around a pool deck when excited can cause severe damage to their pads. We recommend walking on softer ground and at cooler times of day when roads aren’t as hot to help protect those tender tootsies.  Booties can also be worn if they will tolerate.

We hope you find these tips helpful. Please let us know if you have any additional questions. The entire team at Kortright Animal Hospital hope’s everyone has a safe and happy summer season!

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