Will Your Dog Survive The Summer Sun

Will Your Dog Survive The Summer Sun



As a​ 10 year old child,​ I watched helplessly one hot August day as​ my beloved boxer,​ Duke,​ died in​ my arms. Four decades later,​ I still have that memory painfully etched in​ my mind. We didn't learn until after the​ fact that Duke had died of​ a​ heat stroke. Even more painful was the​ realization that,​ had we known what to​ look for,​ we could have taken measures to​ possibly prevent his death. in​ honor of​ his memory,​ I want to​ share vital information that may keep your dog from suffering Duke's fate.

What is​ heat stroke?

Too much time exposed to​ the​ dangerous combination of​ increased temperature and humidity can lead to​ a​ heat stroke. a​ mammal's body (and that includes humans,​ too) can only tolerate temperatures up to​ about 107 degrees before cells start dying. the​ higher the​ temperature,​ the​ faster this occurs. the​ longer the​ body remains at​ an​ elevated temperature,​ the​ less chance there is​ for recovery. Heat stroke can occur very quickly,​ given the​ right set of​ circumstances,​ and if​ too much time has elapsed,​ even your best efforts may not be enough to​ keep your dog alive.

Is my dog at​ risk for heat stroke?

Any dog can fall victim to​ heat stroke,​ but hot weather is​ especially hard on​ puppies and older dogs,​ (they have a​ harder time regulating their body temperature),​ short-nosed breeds,​ (like pugs,​ pekes,​ boxers and bulldogs),​ overweight dogs,​ those with heart or​ lung problems,​ and dogs recently moved from a​ cooler climate. These risk factors increase if​ your dog doesn't have enough water,​ if​ he's in​ an​ enclosed space or​ is​ exposed too long to​ direct sunlight.

How can I recognize heat stroke?

Heat stroke causes dogs to​ pant rapidly and heavily,​ the​ body's defense in​ an​ effort to​ lower the​ core temperature. Their eyes may be open abnormally wide,​ and they may appear to​ stare blankly,​ ignoring your commands. They may drool excessively and stagger weakly. the​ gums will appear pale and dry and eventually,​ if​ left untreated,​ the​ animal will collapse into unconsciousness.

What should I do if​ my dog has a​ heat stroke?

If you​ suspect your dog is​ suffering from heat stroke and you're close to​ a​ vet or​ animal hospital,​ put him in​ the​ car,​ crank the​ air conditioning all the​ way up and get him there as​ soon as​ possible. They're the​ ones best equipped to​ handle your dog's recovery. if​ that's not possible,​ you​ must try to​ reduce your dog's temperature yourself. Get him to​ a​ shady area and either put him in​ a​ tub of​ cool (not cold) running water,​ or​ spray him with a​ hose. Be sure the​ water penetrates his coat and wets the​ skin beneath. Run it​ over his tongue and mouth,​ inside the​ legs and on​ his stomach. Remember that small dogs will cool down more quickly than larger breeds. Take your dog to​ a​ vet as​ soon as​ you​ can.

Hopefully your dog will never suffer a​ life-threatening heat stroke. if​ he does,​ at​ least now you​ know the​ signs and symptoms to​ be aware of,​ and the​ measures you​ can take that will offer him the​ best chances for a​ full and total recovery.




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