Protecting Your Dog From Heatstroke
This week, advice from Kate O’Dwyer
As temperatures rise in So Cal, many of us begin to exercise and hit the trails with our canine companions to work up a good sweat. Unlike us, dogs cannot sweat through their skin. Dogs must pant or sweat through their footpads or noses to release heat, making cooling off difficult at times.
If dogs are exposed to prolonged exercise or excessive heat they may become dehydrated or develop heatstroke. Signs of heatstroke include extreme panting, thick drool, refusal to exercise further, dizziness or collapse. This is an emergency and you should see your veterinarian immediately. Until you reach your veterinarian however, one should move the dog into the shade, offer cool water and place cool rags on the pet’s feet and head. Your veterinarian will treat the dehydration with intravenous fluids and treat any tissue damage that occurs.
Preventing dehydration and heatstroke is easy if you follow a few simple tips:
• Never leave a dog alone in a car, even if it doesn’t seem that hot out!
• Allow access to plenty of fresh drinking water.
• Avoid vigorous or prolonged exercise on hot days – choose indoor activities instead or wait until sunset if possible.
Kate O’Dwyer is the owner/head veterinarian at Rosemont Veterinarian Hospital,
2550 Foothill Blvd. Suite A,