We have seen record heat very early this year and a tragic result is the increase of heat related deaths among dogs that are left in cars. Even though it is the end of summer, the heat is not letting up, so we want to remind you to be on guard against heat stroke. It takes less than 10 minutes for the interior of a vehicle to reach 160 degrees on a 90 degree day.
Leaving the car windows cracked or rolled down does not alleviate heat enough. Dogs cool down through perspiring through their paws and panting. They cannot possibly handle these high temperatures. Leaving dogs in the back of a truck, in the backyard without shade, or the inside of a house without air conditioning can be fatal. High temperatures are especially dangerous for short nosed breeds such as Boxers, Pugs, Bulldogs, and Boston Terriers. Heat strokes can cause brain damage and death can occur rapidly. If you notice any of the following symptoms you should start cooling down your dog and take your pet to a veterinary hospital immediately. Time is very important.
Signs of heat stroke:
- Restlessness Panting Drooling (associated with nausea)
- Excessive thirst Vomiting
- Loss of coordination
- Loss of consciousness
When temperatures are high and you take your dog on an excursion be prepared to cool off your dog with ice packs, wet towels, and plenty of water. Your four legged friend can not tell you when he is getting too hot until it is too late. We may occasionally find ourselves in the awkward position of spotting a dog in a closed-up car in the parking lot of a store restaurant. If this happens call 911 and try to have the owner paged at the place of business. Do not leave the dog until the problem has been resolved by someone in authority or the owner. If the situation is dire and no one comes forward to help you be responsible, stay calm and use good judgment. We know that the owner definitely did not intend to harm to his best friend and would be grateful to have its life saved.