Sunday, June 20, 2010

Heat Related Injuries - Dogs

It's been so hot here already this Spring that I can only imagine the summer being just as miserable! Here's some awesome information on heat stroke and your dogs:

Avoiding Heat Related Injuries in Dogs
by: Nate Baxter DVM

The first thing that needs to be understood is that dogs and people are
different enough that most of the info cannot cross lines. I do not profess to
know what the appropriate procedures for people other than what I learned
in first aid.

Dogs do not lose enough electrolytes thru exercise to make a difference, but if
the dog gets truly into heat stroke the physiology changes will make them
necessary. BUT oral replacement at that point is futile, they need IV and lots of
it.

Cooling: Evaporative cooling is the most efficient mean of cooling.
However, in a muggy environment, the moisture will not evaporate so cooling
does not happen well. I cool with the coldest water I can find and will use ice
depending on the situation. The best way is to run water over the dog, so there
is always fresh water in contact. When you immerse a dog in a tub, the water
trapped in the hair coat will get warm next to the dog, and act as an insulator
against the cool water and cooling stops. If you can run water over the dog and
place it in front of a fan that is the best. Misting the dog with water will only help if you are in a dry environment or in front of a fan. Just getting the dog wet is not the point, you want the water to be cool itself, or to evaporate.
Read the entire article

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