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July 5, 2010
*HEAT WARNING*... with the heat wave we are experiencing, please keep your pets in mind. The ideal environment in these humid high temperatures is in an air conditioned home. However, if you do not have A/C available, keep air moving with fans. Of course always make sure fresh water is available and NEVER LEAVE PETS IN CARS, EVEN WITH WINDOWS OPENED OR CRACKED.
The very old and very young pets should not go on walks. Go as far as you need for them to go to the bathroom. The healthy should only go on brief *walks* in the very early part of the day, and at dusk into the evening. If your home becomes too hot for the pets' health, please consider boarding them in a climate controlled facility until the heat wave passes.
People assume that if a dog is in the water, which they frequently are since we are next to Lake Erie and near Chautauqua Lake, that the dog won't overheat. This just isn't true when the water temperature rises towards mid to late summer if the dog is working hard in the water.
If you suspect your pet is suffering from over heating....
~hyperventilation (deep breathing)
~increased salivation early then dry gums as the heat prostration progresses
~confusion or inattention
~vomiting or diarrhea and sometimes bleeding
.... it is best to cool immediately with cool or tepid water rather than really cold water. If ice packs are available they can be applied to areas where circulation is very good, such as the "armpits", inquinal (groin) region, or neck. Blowing air over the pet with a fan as you cool him/her off with water can be helpful. As soon as you can, call the vet. As the condition progresses towards heat prostration or heat stroke there may be obvious paleness or graying to the gums, shallowing of the breathing efforts and eventually slowed or absent breathing efforts, vomiting and diarrhea that may be bloody and finally seizures or coma.
If you take the temperature of your pet, remember that the normal temp is around 101. Be concerned if your dog is exhibiting more than one of these symptoms and you dog's temperature is 104 or above.