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Management of heat stroke in dogs during summer

Tuesday,30/05/2017-02:05:41:am by areshkumar

Summer is the hottest season having longest days and shortest nights. It is quite longest season than other seasons of the year. During summer as we head into the warmer climate, it is important to remember heat exhaustion. In every summer, dogs are becoming a victim of heat stroke, some cases are mild, or it can be severe and may lead to fatal, despite of aggressive treatment. Heat stroke is an emergency and requires immediate treatment. Hyperthermia is the term used to describe an elevation in body temperature Most of the dogs, when exposed to high ambient temperatures, heat stroke or heat exhaustion can result. This is because dogs do not have sweat glands through their skin like humans - they release heat primarily by panting and they sweat through the foot pads and nose. But when air temperature is close to body temperature, cooling by panting is not an efficient process. So we need to make sure there is access to cool water, and to retreat to air conditioned areas when signs of overheating first occur. Any pet that cannot cool himself off is at risk for heatstroke. Causes of heat stroke: • Dogs being left in the car in hot weather is the most common cause of heat stroke • Pets which are suffering from a heart or lung disease that interferes with efficient breathing • Muzzling the pet for a hair dryer • Being in a hot weather under asbestos sheet or any other roofing materials which give more heat and dogs tied outside without any shade • Those brachycephalic breeds like Boxer, Bulldog, Pug are more prone for heat stroke How to identify the heat stroke? It begins with heavy panting and difficulty breathing followed by, tongue and mucous membranes appear bright red. The saliva is thick and tenacious, and the dog often vomits. The rectal temperature rises to 104°to 110°F (40°to 43.3°C). The dog becomes progressively unsteady and passes bloody diarrhea sometimes hematuria (Blood mixed urine) also noticed. As shock sets in, the lips and mucous membranes turn gray. Collapse, seizures, coma, and death rapidly ensue. What to do if the pet is suffering with the above symptoms? • Move the dog out of the source of heat, preferably into an air-conditioned room. • Mild cases may be resolved by moving the dog into a cool environment. • If the rectal temperature is above 104°F, begin rapid cooling by spraying the dog with a garden hose or immersing him in a tub of cool water (do not use ice water) for up to two minutes. • After pouring water keep the dog under the fan. • Have a gel / cool pack in refrigerator or keep water in vessels so that it can be poured in a rubber gloves or plastic cover and keep it under the groin area of the pet. • Make sure the rectal temperature falls to 103°F and take the pet to veterinarian. How to prevent heat stroke? • Never leave your dog in a car with the windows closed, even if the car is parked in the shade. • While travelling in the car keep the window open or ensure the air conditioner is on. • Restrict exercise in hot weather. • Always provide shade and plenty of cool water to dogs outdoors, particularly those kenneled on cement or asphalt surfaces. • Offer cooler surfaces outdoors for dogs to lie on, such as wooden planking, mats, or grass. • Keep pets with predisposing conditions like heart disease, obesity, older age, or breathing problems cool and in the shade. Even normal activity for these pets can be harmful. • Do not muzzle your dog. • Wetting down your dog with cool water or allowing him to swim can help maintain a normal body temperature.

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