Veterinarians offer tips to protect pets from heat - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Veterinarians offer tips to protect pets from heat

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By  Stephanie Springer  - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –It's heating up in south Georgia and many of us are cooling down by taking a dip in the pool or spending time inside by the air conditioning.

But our furry companions are feeling the heat too, and their body temperatures are already higher than ours.

Veterinarians say there are certain things you can do to ensure they stay cool through the spring and summer months.

Heatstroke is deadly,

"They can go into shock start vomiting and really lose control of everything," said Dr. Ivy Chupp.

And affects not only humans, but pets too.

"If  a dog ever has a heat stroke event, they will always be more susceptible to heat in the future," said Dr. Jennifer Daniel.

"We probably see 10 to 12 cases of heat stroke a year and most of them are during the hottest summer months," said Chupp.

So before you leave your dog in the car, or tied up outside, veterinarians say there are things you should know.

"If its 80 degrees even with the windows cracked it can get pretty warm inside the vehicle," said Chupp.

"Dogs cannot sweat, they can only release heat through their paw pads and through respiration. That's why it is so easy for them to overheat because they have no other way to release that heat.

You can cool them down my rubbing alcohol on their pads or give them ice cubes to eat.

"Wherever there is shade is also where you want to put your water,"said Daniel.

While all dogs can get overheated some are more susceptible than others.

"The smushed face dogs are more susceptible because they already have compromised airways because of their anatomy, said Chupp.

"A dog with a thick hair coat may overheat faster than a dog with thinner hair," said Daniel.

Older dogs and puppies are more at risk, and a dogs coloring plays a factor too.

"The black or chocolate colored dogs will absorb more heat than the lighter dogs, but the lighter dogs you have to be careful of sunburn, said Chupp.

A car can become a death trap for dogs, temperatures can rise to 120 degrees.

"A lot of restaurants if its outdoor eating will let you if you get permission, tie them up if they are well behaved dogs," said Chupp.

If you must leave your dog outside, make sure there is plenty of shade..and water.

Some symptoms you should look out for is Panting, staring, lethargic, loose bowels, vomiting and if they collapse or are lying there.

Get them to the veterinarian as soon as you can.

Something else veterinarians say they see more of as it heats up is snake bites so make sure you look out for any swelling. You can even get a rattlesnake vaccination to help.

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