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CARING FOR YOUR PETS IN HOT WEATHER

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Heat stress or heat stroke occurs when animals are confined in hot environments.

All animals are affected by heat stress, however dogs with short noses such as the Bull Dog, Pekingese, Pug and Boxer are particularly at risk.

When suffering from heat stroke, a dog will initially show an increase in activity associated with panting and vocalisation - usually barking or whining. The dog will become agitated, often with a worried or furrowed expression.

As the heat stroke progresses, the panting becomes excessive and laboured with the dog showing an inability to breathe properly. The dog usually drools excessively and may vomit. If the suffering continues, the dog will suffer circulatory collapse, its gums will appear blue and it will convulse or become unconscious.

AT HOME HEATSTROKE OR HEAT STRESS CAN BE AVOIDED BY THE FOLLOWING:

  1. Never leave a dog or cat confined in a hot house or shed for long periods.
  2. Always provide copious quantities of cool, clean drinking water. Ensure the water containers cannot be accidentally knocked over. Don't leave containers or water in the hot sun.
  3. Trim or clip the coat of long-haired dogs and cats, particularly if they are middle-aged or older. Comfort is more important than looks.
  4. Only exercise dogs in the cool of the morning or evening. Excessive running during the hot part of the day can be fatal.
  5. Use the hose regularly to keep the dog cool. Gently hosing on the neck of the dog will quickly alleviate heat stress. Provide a cold water bath. As the water evaporates from the coat the dog cools down - the Coolgardie safe effect!

Remember that in Summer we have to do the thinking for our pets so that they can keep cool. If you are distressed by the heat you can be sure that your cats and dogs feel the same!

What you can do to help.
It is vital the dog's body is cooled as quickly as possible, especially the head.

  • Place the dog in a tap water bath or hose the dog down. Make sure the head and airways are not blocked. If available, apply ice to the dog's head.
  • Contact a veterinarian as a matter of urgency.
  • Transport the dog to the nearest veterinarian wrapped in soaking towels and keep ice packs on its head.

Further Information
  Products - Auto Waterer
  Products - Chill Out Pet bed
  Products - Chilly Bone



RSPCA Victoria
Web: www.rspcavic.org

Last Update: 05/03/07 23:29 Views: 2556

OzPetShop - Pet Products, Supplies and Accessories