FOR SAFE FUN IN THE SUN WITH ROVER
Reprinted from the NewsletterEditors@yahoogroups.com
Heat strokeis the most common and most likely to be fatal. Symptoms are panting; staring; warm, dry skin; extremely high fever (106 degrees or
higher); rapid heartbeat; vomiting; and collapse. Treatment includes immersion in cool water. If no tub is handy, spraying the dog with the hose is
the next best action. Ice packs applied to the head and neck may also help. Heat stroke is life threatening; get the dog to the veterinary clinic as soon
as possible after lowering his temperature.
Heat exhaustionis less serious and generally follows heavy and prolonged exercise in intense heat. It develops more slowly than heat stroke and
may be preceded by a salt deficiency or a complication of heart disease. The treatment is the same: lower the temperature with cool water, then get
the dog to the clinic.
Some other tips:
Even though most people know that it gets very hot inside a car, many people do not realize just how sensitive dogs are to the heat and howfast a
dog or puppy can fall victim to heat stroke. On a clear summer day the temperature inside a car can reach anywhere from 120-140º even with
the windows cracked open. A pet left under these conditions is likely to suffer heat exhaustion or heat stroke, which can be fatal or cause permanent
brain damage. All this could happen in just 15-20 minutes.
The PSPCA encourages people to inform owners of the risk when they see it. They offer 5 free warning cards for slipping under the windshield.
Send a SASE (#10) to "Warning Cards", The PSPCA, 350 E. Erie Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19134.
If you must travel with your dog, take your own shade. Invest in a reflective blanket for your windshield as well as breathable sun block tarps. Also
consider carrying a battery-operated fan.
Be careful of hot pavement – it can be detrimental to your dog's paw pads.
Remember that heat and humidity are more stressful for puppies, geriatric dogs, dogs that are overweight or out of condition, dogs with chronic
illnesses, and dogs with shortened faces such as Boxers, English Bulldogs, Pekinese, and French Bulldogs. Heat and humidity are also stressful
on dogs that have heavy coats, black fur, or spend most of their days in air-conditioned splendor. Be aware that short-coated white or
cream-colored dogs can get sunburned, especially on their ears and around their noses.
Don't make the mistake of thinking a long-coated or thick-coated dog should be shaved for summer. Long, thick coats developed to provide insulation
in both cold and hot weather, and removal of the natural insulation could stress the dog further. Do make sure long and thick coats are
kept free of mats, tangles, burs and other seeds, etc. to help maintain Rover's comfort.
Dogs with lighter coats and skin color may need sunblock on their noses and tips of their ears.
If you or your adjoining neighbor hire a lawn service, make sure Rover stays inside while pesticides are sprayed. Keep her off the sprayed grass for
at least 24 hours to avoid contact with the chemicals or clean her feet so she doesn't ingest poison if she licks her paws. Rose food or pellets
can be harmful due to the nitrate content. Although there are many poisonous plants, Fred Oehme, DVM, Ph.D., professor of toxicology at
Kansas State University says plant poisonings of dogs are far less common than poisonings with pesticides, rodenticides, and rotten garbage.
Dogs can be irritable in hot weather and should be protected from kids' boisterous attentions.
Since dogs cannot take off their coats and they do not sweat, they pant away a lot of moisture during warm weather and must have constant access
to fresh water. Puddles won't do it, and neither will three-day-old tepid water with a layer of pond scum.
Avoid strenuous exercise in the heat of the day.
Many dogs will eat less in hot, humid weather. If Rover leaves some food behind, throw it away, wash the dish, and feed less until the temperature
Keep your canine first aid kit packed and ready for action, and have the telephone numbers of your veterinarian and an emergency clinic handy just
in case. Accidents, insect stings, dogfights, and heat stroke or exhaustion can require immediate attention.
Bee or wasp stingsnot only hurt, causing swelling and sharp pain, but for some individuals a sting can also cause a deadly allergic reaction to the
venom. These insects will not only sting humans, but also animals that can have the same type of reaction as humans.
If your dog is stung by a bee or wasp:
Carefully remove the stinger because it may still be releasing venom into the animal. Do NOT use tweezers or fingers, which could force more
venom into the dog; but wipe it off/out with a credit card, knife, or fingernail. Make a paste of baking soda and water and apply to the sting area
Apply an ice pack to relieve swelling and pain and alternate it on and off the sting site Sit and comfort the dog until the pain has gone away
Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are distinct possibilities if the dog is subjected to high temperatures in poorly ventilated areas, including cars (even
with the windows cracked open), sheds, or other enclosures. Dogs dissipate body heat by panting, not sweating, and rapid panting causes
increased loss of water and carbon dioxide. If the dog is stressed by high temperatures, humidity and poor ventilation, his circulatory and
respiratory systems can be overtaxed.
Usually a single sting does not present a serious problem. The exception can be the sting on the nose, mouth or around the head, or if your dog has
an allergic reaction. If the swelling is minor, just watch the animal to be sure your pet is not having breathing or swallowing difficulties. If the
swelling gets huge within five or ten minutes, see a vet immediately. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
Patti has had several encounters with bee stings. "One evening when I let the dogs out, I noticed one of them snapping at the air, but didn't think
much about it until a little later. The dogs were only out for a short while, but when I called them in, Dancer only made it to the driveway and then
collapsed. I helped her up, but she collapsed again. I rushed her to the vet who thought it might have been a reaction to the flea dip I had used. To
make a long story short, I gave her a Benadryl when I got back home and her symptoms disappeared. Later, we realized that she had been stung
by some sort of bee right next to her eye. The Benadryl made the difference. On another occasion, Inde was also stung once on the face. Her
muzzle swelled up to grotesque proportions, but again Benadryl took care of it. I never leave home without it." Patti's neighbor's dog was also
stung and was in shock. Once again, Patti used the Benadryl and the dog survived.
Multiple stingscan also cause a problem. A recent article in AKC AFIELD: THE CHRONICLE OF PERFORMANCE EVENTS, (August/
September 1998 issue), entitled "The Buzz on Bee Stings," written by Dr. Steve Bentsen, featured an in depth look at bee stings:
"The bee's stinger is barbed. When it stings, it pulls out of the bee's abdomen, taking the entire venom sac with it. Constriction of the muscles
around the sac will continue pumping venom into the victim for several minutes after the sting. The venom of the bee contains a number of toxic
proteins, which attack various body systems. Reactions range from local swelling and pain around the stung area to anaphylactic shock with total
system collapse and death. These reactions may develop within minutes of the sting, and probably will occur if the reaction is allergic in nature.
Even if the dog escapes the allergic threat of the toxins, it still faces the toxic threat of the venom. There may be damage to the liver, kidneys, nervous
system or blood cells. These effects may be seen immediately or they may not be apparent for several days. Complete destruction of the dog's
red blood cells may occur despite all efforts at treatment.
"The typical bee sting case that veterinarians see in their practices involves the accidental disturbance of a hive or swarm by either the dog or
its owner. This usually involves stings to both parties. If this happens to you, your best defense is distance. Call your dog to you and run! Put as
much space as possible between yourself and the bees. The bees may be quite aggressive and pursue a victim over some distance. By all means,
attempt to help your dog to escape by calling to it or, if necessary, carrying it away with you. Just keep in mind that a swarm of angry insects can
be life threatening to you as well as your dog. Once the attack has subsided, seek immediate medical attention for the dog, and for yourself if you were also stung.
"Treatment of massive bee stings is directed at preventing shock, maintaining fluid volume, and protecting the various organ systems at risk.
This can be started in the field by promptly administering antihistamines, which should be in every dog owner's first aid kit. The medication can be
given orally or by injection - your veterinarian can advise you on what to do.
"After rapid administration of antihistamines in the field, you should quickly take your dog to the closest veterinarian. In cases of massive
stings, the dog's best chance of survival is hospitalization with aggressive treatment and close monitoring. At my practice we treat all bee sting
cases with intravenous catheterization, the administration of fluids to prevent shock and circulatory collapse, the giving of corticosteroids as required
and the close monitoring of vital signs. Serial blood work may be required over a two-day period to detect any damage to the dog's organs.
Early detection of damage allows for prompt treatment to minimize damage wherever possible."
The most important thing to remember is that a dog needs you
to look out for his needs and well being.
He depends on your guidance and care.
He should never be left unattended and unsupervised for any length of time.
Without proper precautions, heat can kill.
NOTE: The information I've been able to find recommends up to 1mg. of Benadryl per pound of body weight.
Be sure the Benadryl is the regular type for allergies, not the sinus one. This information is not to replace your veterinarians advise nor an actual veterinarian.