It’s officially summer in the Philippines
It is that time of the year when people love to take it easy and go on vacations.
But for dogs, this can be a rather challenging and difficult time.
Recently, a number of dogs have been brought to the clinic due to heat stroke.
Doc Anthony Prado Basa of Sha Sha Clinic noted a rise in the number of dogs who were brought to the clinic with the following symptoms:
*not much urine
*increase in body temperature (41c up). A temperature of 109 °F (42.8 °C) is usually fatal.
*redness of gums
*rapid heart beat
These are signs of heat stroke. Give first aid immediately and bring to your vet.
Doc Cerdy Deloso of Deloso Vetrinary Clinic added the following symptoms: seizure and coma. These obviously require immediate medical intervention.
Wikihow explains that dogs do not release heat as well as humans.
“As such, we may not be aware of the fact that a dog has become overheated until symptoms suddenly develop. Heat stroke in dogs is a very serious condition and its onset can be sudden, escalating into an emergency situation in a matter of minutes. Knowing how to treat a dog experiencing heat stroke may be vital to saving your dog's life,” Wikihow said.
How to recognize heat stroke
1. Monitor your dog’s temperature.
Please write down the following: dog’s temperature at what time, conditions like direct sunlight, and the dog’s level of activity prior to the and at the start of symptoms. These details will be needed by your vet.
2. Observe your dog for initial heat stroke symptoms.
It is always best to catch a heat stroke in its early stages to prevent permanent damage to your dog’s internal organs.
Some early signs of heat stroke include:
*Excessive or loud panting
*A bright red tongue and pale gums
*Skin around muzzle or neck does not snap back when pinched
*Increased heart rate
3. Be aware of signs of worsening heat stroke.
Check your dog for the following signs:
*Increased difficulty in breathing
*Gums that turn bright red, then blue or purple
*Weakness and/or fatigue
*Collapse or coma
How to help a dog suffering from heat stroke
1. Remove the dog from the heat immediately.
It is best to move the dog to an airconditioned area.
If this is not possible, bring the dog to a shaded area, preferably with a lot of air flowing in that area.
Please restrict the dogs’ movement at this time. Do not allow the dog to run around until the heat stroke has passed.
If you can, carry your dog to a cool place instead of making him walk.
2. Give the dog cool water.
Give your dog a small amount of cool water at first.
“It is not advisable to give the dog human sports drinks. If the dog seems uninterested in water, cool or room temperature (low-fat, unsalted) beef or chicken broth is an acceptable substitute, “ Wikihow said.
“Do not force feed water to the dog if he cannot drink freely on his own. Instead, wet his lips, gums, and tongue with water squeezed from a facecloth or clean towel, “ Wikihow added.
3. Cool the dog with water.
If possible, wet the dog continuously with water but make sure to reduce the pressure if the water is coming from a hose. It is best to wet the dog slowly with water from a dipper so you can control the flow of water. What you are aiming at is to slowly remove the heat from your dog.
“Do not submerge your dog underwater completely, as he can lose temperature too quickly, which may lead to other complications,“ Wikihow said.
It added, ”Be sure that the water is not overly cold. Very cold or ice water can actually slow the dog’s cooling processes.”
When you wet your dog, start with the extremities such as the paws, head and tail.
Soak a towel in cool water and place this between his back legs and in his armpits. Some put a cold bottle in a towel and use this instead.
4. Contact your veterinarian.
Even if your dog is responding well to cooling treatments, you must contact your vet immediately.
“Internal (organ) damage is a possible side effect of a heat stroke. Undiagnosed complications can be fatal to your dog, “ Wikihow said.
5. Place rubbing alcohol on the pads of the dog’s paws.
Dogs release heat from the pads of their feet.
Put rubbing alcohol on the pads to release the heat. The feet should be exposed to cool air.
Do not use too much alcohol. Your dog might ingest this and it is harmful to him/her.
Next Sunday: How to prevent heat stroke in dogs.