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Heat Stroke in Dogs

 

Contrary to what most people believe, dogs overheat more quickly than humans do. They wear their fur coat all year long and they do not sweat. They cool their bodies by panting, or blowing out heat, which is much less effective than sweating. Even if you are comfortable, your dog may be too hot!

Also Dogs take longer too cool if overheated than we do, the estimate is 4 times longer.

What happens in heat stroke?

Heat stroke happens when heat gain exceeds the body's ability to dissipate heat. High temperatures cause chemical reactions that break down body cells which lead to dehydration and blood thickening. This puts extreme strain on the heart and causes blood clotting and subsequent death to tissue. Liver, brain and intestinal cells are usually the first to be affected and this can occur quickly. Normal body temperature for a dog is about 101 F to 102 F. If his temperature reaches 106 F, he is in danger of brain damage, vital organ failure and death. Reducing body temp quickly is imperative. A dog who recovers can still have organ damage and lifelong health problems. Temperatures above 106 F are extremely dangerous.

Symptoms

ˇ  Rapid, frantic panting

ˇ  Wide eyes

ˇ  Thick saliva

ˇ  Bright red tongue

ˇ  Vomiting

ˇ  Staggering

ˇ  Diarrhea

ˇ  Coma

 

 First Aid

Heat stroke is deadly! Heat stroke is an emergency! Cool the dog, in whatever way you can and get him to a veterinarian immediately! Hose him off, immerse him in cool (not cold) water, use fans, take him to air conditioning, or sponge the groin area, tummy area, wet his tongue, place rolled up wet towels against his head, neck, tummy, and between his legs. When his temperature drops to 104 F or 103 F, stop cooling efforts. Cooling too fast or too much can cause other problems.

 

Treatment

If the dog's temperature is still high when he reaches the vet's office, they may give a cool water enema, cool water gastric lavage (rinse the stomach), and IV fluids, and draw blood samples. The dog will be monitored for shock, kidney failure, heart abnormalities, respiratory stress, and blood clotting time. The dog may be given oxygen, dextrose, cortisone, antihistamines, anticoagulants, or antibiotics. Once he is stabilized, he may require follow up treatment.

 

Prevention

Never, ever leave your dog in a parked car! Not even for a few minutes! Heat inside a parked car can build, in just a few short minutes, to as much as 40 degrees above the outside temperature. For instance, on an 80 F day, temperatures in a parked car can reach 120 F in as little as ten minutes, especially if the car is in the sun. Leaving the windows cracked helps very little and that's only IF there's a breeze. Factor in humidity and the dog doesn't have a snowball's chance!

 

For outside dogs, provide shade, ventilation, wading pool, and cool drinking water. Keep in mind that shade moves as the earth rotates.

 

Make sure water containers are large enough to supply water at all times and secure so they cannot be turned over.

Make sure that tied dogs cannot wind their tether around something, preventing access to water. Caution: Chains will wrap around themselves and shorten when the dog runs in circles.

 

Crate only in a wire crate.

 

Clip heavy coated dogs to a one inch length. Leave one inch for insulation, and protection against sunburn.

 

Allow dogs unaccustomed to warm weather, several days to acclimate.

 

Do not exercise your dog on hot days.

 

Take precautions for at risk dogs (see below) when the heat index reaches 75 F. The single most frequent cause for heat stroke in dogs is overheating in a parked car. If this article accomplishes nothing else, I hope it educates readers on the importance of leaving Buddy home, not only on hot days but on warm days as well.

 

 

Which dogs are at higher risk of heat stroke?

Brachycephalic breeds -Breeds with short faces, such as Pugs, Pekingese, Mastiffs, and Boxers, are at higher risk of overheating since their shorter airways do not cool as efficiently as with other breeds.

 

Dogs with dark or thick coats -As we learned in elementary school, light colors reflect heat and dark colors absorb heat. Dark coated dogs such as black Labs, Dobermans, and Rottweilers will have a harder time dissipating heat than white coated dogs.

 

Dogs with respiratory diseases -Any dog that is coughing, sneezing, wheezing, experiencing nasal discharge, lung congestion, or any pulmonary disease will be at greater risk of heat stroke.

 

Overexerted dogs -Dogs who are not accustomed to warm weather need time to adjust. Heat stroke doesn't always occur in extreme temperatures. Some dogs can have a heat stroke in an air conditioned room if they become overexcited and active. Do not work or exercise your dog on hot days or in the heat of the day. And don't rely on the dog to know when enough is enough.

 

Sick dogs, older dogs or puppies under 6 months

 

Dogs with fever -When temperatures reach 106 F and above, the dog is in danger of heat stroke.

 

Dogs on certain medications -Dogs taking certain medications such as diuretics are more susceptible to heat stroke.

 

Dehydrated dogs -Dogs unable to reach water can become dehydrated quickly on hot days. Panting also hastens dehydration.

 

Dogs with heart disease or poor circulation -Dogs whose circulatory systems are not up to par cannot dissipate heat efficiently.

 

Overweight dogs -Overweight dogs may have lessened breathing efficiency and tend to hold heat.

 

Muzzled dogs -Dogs wearing muzzles cannot breathe or pant efficiently on warm days. Heat strokes have been reported in dogs standing under a grooming parlor dryer while muzzled.

Dogs who have had a previous heat stroke -If a dog has had a heat stroke before, he will always be more susceptible to another.

 

If your dog falls into one or more of these groups, take precautions, when the heat index rises above 75 F.

 

Heat stroke is serious, heat stroke is easier to prevent then treat.

 

Marcia Murray-Stoof - C.P.D.T.

Certiied Professional Dog Training Instructor

Certfied Canine Behaviourist

Certified Canine Good Neighbour Evaluator

Certified Therapy Dog & Cat Evaluator

TPOC Director of Evaluators

Breeder & Exhibitor of Dogue De Bordeauxs

CANINE COMMUNICATION

Pack Leader -v- Pet Parent:-

The use of terminology in today’s Canine Community.

First let me explain the definition of a “Pack”, years ago the term Pack Leader meant a Dominance higherachy, based on an old study of a group of Wolves brought from different areas and put together to form a Pack.  So of course there were challenges, fights, etc, as each of this forced pack established their place(s).

What do we know now, what we know now is a “Pack” is a “Family”.  Natural packs consist of a Mum & Dad (breeding female and male) and their children.  Young males tend to leave when reaching adulthood and go off to start their own Pack/Family.  Young Females may leave, when seeing a prospective mate (male from another pack), or may stay and become Mum (breeding Female) when the existing female becomes too old to breed or dies.

So a Pack is a Family and a Family is a Pack.  Each has a Leader - the one in charge over all, and that Leader has a partner, also in charge of all. (Mum and Dad / Alpha Male & Female / Breeding Pair).

GENETICS:-

Canis Lupas (the Wolf) & Canis Familiaris (Dogs) – Notice both are Canids – Canines - a Species.

Genetic research has confirmed that all dogs are descended from Wolves.  Recent research tracks all known breeds back to a group of extinct Wolves from Asia.

So, those people that say dogs are not Wolves, but a different and distinct species are WRONG.  They are also wrong, when stating Dogs are not Pack animals.  Katrina proved that point, where domesticed dogs left behind formed packs.  A Pack has a better chance at survival than an individual.  (Same goes for us humans – a group of people working together under a good leader, has a better chance of survival than an individual).

Wolf -v- Dog:-

What are the differences if any?

Well there are not many, but the biggest and most important one is that DOGS rely on us, where as a Wolf will not.

We did this in our breeding selection; we chose the wolf that was less fearful and/or aggressive to us (humans).  We breed the softer ones, the ones we thought more compliant to us.  We have gone on to breed the best runner, best sniffer, best fighter etc, and there by created 100’s of different breeds, all bred to excel at a particular job we wanted them to do.

What has selective breeding has done, to make the Canis Familaris different from Canis Lupas.  Just one basic principal really, a dog will look to us to guide its actions a Wolf will not.

Dogs are geared to read our body language (because we needed them to) and interpret it into dog language, our voices into canine meanings.  They read our facial expressions.

Dogs of all animals are the most proficient in the animal kingdom at learning to understand Humans.  No mean feat, but we did breed selectively to enhance that ability.

However, they maintain many attributes, manners, emotions, thought process, body language, vocal tones that belong to all Canids (canines – dog species).

Most importantly that of the PACK/Family.

So we must have the ability to become Pack Leader/ Mum / Dad to our dogs.

We must be calm, confident, stable, consistent Leaders. 

NOT Dictators, Not Bullies, we want our dogs to follow and obey us out of Respect NOT FEAR.

 Call 705-436-4158

thedognanny@bell.net            www.dognanny.ca

The Dog NannyŠ2010

Regal Rogue
Breeders and Exhibitors of exceptional Dogue De Bordeaux's

dognanny1.jpg

 
Marcia Murray-Stoof C.P.D.T.
"The Dog Nanny"
Certified Professional Dog Training Instructor
Certified Canine Behaviourist
Certified Therapy dog/cat Evaluator
Director of Evaluators for TPOC
Certified CKC Evaluator for CGN
Breeder & Exhibitor of Dogue de Bordeauxs