Thursday, June 9, 2011

Dog Heat Exhustion...beware!

Last night in columbus the temperature was around 93 degrees when I got off work. I decided that it was too hot to go running so I decided I would just take the dogs on a walk to the park and back. I think it might be 2 miles round trip. So I leashed up the dogs and they are always SOOOO excited to go and we started to walk over to the park. We were making pretty good time. I knew there was a fountain a the park for both humans and dogs. They have a little dog bowl that is attached to the fountain and fills up with water so that they dogs can get a drink. Well, I got the dogs to the half way mark where the fountain was only to find out it was broken! OH NO, I had never checked it before. We left the park and started to head home so we could all get something to drink. Well we were just leaving the park and frank (the wiener dog) just laid down. I encouraged him to keep going and then he tripped and sorta fell and was breathing really erratically. I realized something was up right away. I picked him up and walked to the retention pond that was really close by. I put him in and used the water to try and cool down his internal temperature. HE WAS SUFFERING FROM HEAT EXHUSTION. He couldn’t even swim and he is a good swimmer. I pulled him out of the water and had to carry my poor baby all the way home. HE IS 25 POUNDS! This was not an easy task. I got him to the house and proceeds to cool him down with water inside. He did not want to drink for about 20 mins when he started to show signs of improvement. Finally he did drink a decent amount of water. He was very pooped. Anyway I’m sharing this story with you all so that you will know what some of the warning signs look like.

Signs of Overheating in Dogs

Dog owners need to know the signs of overheating in dogs so that cooling measures can be taken quickly. Symptoms to watch for include:
  • Profuse and rapid panting
  • Bright red tongue
  • Thick drooling saliva
  • Wide eyes with a glassy look
  • Lack of coordination
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Coma

How to Cool an Overheated Dog

Working quickly to get the temperature down is imperative. Any of the following measures can help to cool the dog.
  • Place the dog in cool, but not cold, water
  • Take the dog to air conditioning
  • Sponge his head, tummy and area between the legs with cool water
  • Wet his tongue
  • Turn a fan on him
  • Offer small amounts of cool water to drink every few minutes if he is conscious
Care must be taken not to cool the dog too much. In some cases, the temperature can drop too quickly. Once the temperature has reached 104 F or 103 F, cooling efforts should be stopped.
Dogs who have overheated should be seen by a veterinarian to determine if they need further treatment.

Read more at Suite101: Signs of Overheating in Dogs: Preventing Heat Stroke When Dogs Exercise in Hot Temperatures |