(the larger version of this info-graphic is at the first link referenced.)
Summer is fast approaching and so too is the heat that comes with it. Heat always presents the possibility of heat stroke to pets. Heat stroke could occur, if for some reason, your dog(s) can't cool down sufficiently to prevent it.
This can apply to all dogs, whether they be the couch potato or performance and dogs, everyone is a potential victim.
Despite no official databases, it's estimated that several hundred dogs a year die from heat stroke.
Keep in mind that death from heat stroke is a slow, horrible way to die. Overheating can cause "The brain to swell, causing seizures. Lack of blood supply to the GI tract causes ulcers. Dehydration leads to irreversible kidney damage. All these catastrophic events take place within a matter of minutes."
One aspect of how pups die this way is being locked in hot cars.
Did You Know That there are laws in AZ, CA, IL, ME, MD, Minnesota, NV, NH, NJ, NY, ND, SD, Vermont and W Virgina that can result in one's imprisonment and fines if you're one of the stupid folks that make some sort of "guess" that Fido will be fine in the car for "just a few minutes" in the hot weather?
Face it, looking in a car and determining "it's fine," well, isn't a real brilliant move. Instead, why not consider leaving your sidekick at home on hot days. Or skip going places that you need to leave your pup outside in the car.
Did You Know That dogs cool down by breathing, via their panting mechanism? They don't sweat like we do. So do the math:
Dog in hot car.
Dogs cool down by breathing.
Dog is breathing hot air inside the car.
Hot air does not cool dog.
If anyone finds a dog suffering inside a hot car, the proper measures should be taken to save the dog from this stupid and unavoidable situation.
Your first course of action should be to contact the store or mall security. Or local law enforcement. If you don't think there's time, do what you need to do. (I would suggest getting a quorum of people to see the situation, and recognize what you're doing. Just in case, in a legal sense of the process. For those so inclined to carry pocket knives, I've included a link to a reputable brand pocket knife that has a carbide glass breaker tip.)
To be honest, even a 75 degree day is too hot to leave a dog in a car. It only takes about 10 minutes for your car to get to 102 degrees on an 85 degree day. 30 minutes to reach 120 degrees.
It's Also Said That LEAVING your windows cracked open doesn't do the trick of "cooling" it off in there either.
But if you're just out and about with your dog, they could still potentially get bit by heat stroke.
If you notice symptoms associated with heat stroke, such as excessive panting, dry gums that become pale, increased salivation, erratic or rapid pulse, confusion, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, and possibly rectal bleeding, you need to get your pup to the doc!
And there are intermediate steps suggested that you can take to help moderate the situation while in transit to the vet:
Get them out of direct sunlight.
Provide small amounts of fresh, cool water for pup to drink.
If they're not drinking, dab cool water on their tongue, but don't force or put water in their mouth. It could go down their airway, complicating the situation.
Use wet, cool (NOT COLD) towels on their neck, armpits and between their back legs.
Wet their ear flaps and pads with cool towels. (NOT COLD)
It's been stressed that ice baths or extremely cold remedies can cause their own unique set of health threatening problems.
Resources used for this piece:
healthypets.mercola.com/, animallaw.info/, dogingtonpost.com/
- on Amazon: Kershaw 8100GRYST Funxion EMT Serrated Knife with SpeedSafe