Is Your Weim at Risk?
If you are wondering if it is too hot for your pet, it probably is. They, like us, adapt to the warmer and cooler temperatures over time. Unlike us, they do not sweat (or cool their body) in the same way.
The indicators that your pet may be having a heatstroke are…
- Excessive panting
- A red tongue and/or gums
- Sticky mouth–gums
- Disorientation (staggering)
- Stupor-like demeanor
- A body temperature above 104 degrees
Heat stroke can kill your pet in quick order, so time is of the essence. Do be sure to error on the side of caution when assessing the need for veterinary care for potential heat stroke victims. There are other more serious reactions that may indicate they have suffered a heat stroke. These include but are not limited to: bloody diarrhea coma, seizure, vomiting, or sudden death. It goes without saying that leaving your pet in the car for even a few minutes during warmer temps can attribute to heatstroke, and lead to death.
Sadly, we learned the hard way, there is a boomerang effect that can happen. Blood tests are necessary to determine if everything is truly OK, after a brush with heat exhaustion. The internal organs can fail, even when your pet seemingly bounces back. There is a condition known as Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation (DIC), which can be a secondary cause of death.
If you run or walk on concrete or asphalt surfaces, remember that the temperature under-paw can rise to an alarming number too. This can blister or damage your pet’s paws. Exercise should be done in the cool of the morning. Protection from the sun’s rays can be important to prevent sunburn. Yes, a dog can get a sunburn, and eventually skin cancer.
What you can do to help prevent heat exhaustion
- Make sure there is water available. Dehydration will contribute to serious heat exhaustion issues, and can cause other problems.
- Make sure there are cool places. The Weimaraner, for the most part, is a house dog when not working in the field, but shade is important if they are left in the yard for any time. Leave a mister or sprinkler going to cool the air too. Some people are able to use a kiddie swimming pool for their pets.
- If you have a dog with longer hair, some experts recommend shaving them to one inch. Hair actually can help prevent some heat-associated issues. So, never shave to the skin.
- Brushing (or removing loose hair)can help even a short-hair dog stay cooler.
- Make sure any product you use (sunscreen or other) is pet friendly
- There are cooling bandannas (and even vests) (click here) and directions to make your own if you want to do that (click here).
- If you are going to be running or working your Weim in the field during hotter temperatures, then gradually acclimate them to it. Furthermore, be in tune with them. You do not want to lose your best friend, and just because you can cope with the temperature doesn’t make it safe for them.
Cooling the Weimaraner down should be done gradually. You do not want to shock them. If you are offering water, make is cool water, not ice water. Don’t force them to drink. Let them lick an ice cube, but do not let the overheated Weimaraner chew up the ice cube. A cool bath or mist can really help cool them down. Cliff says the best method of cooling them is to wet their chest, and this is about the only method possible for the field Weim. Remember, cooling an overheated dog too quickly could bring on hypothermia. Finally, keep in mind, that heat exhaustion is more dangerous for the pet with an underlying health issue. Be safe–not sorry.
Posted on June 14, 2013, in Health and Wellness and tagged Heatstroke in the Weimaraner, How to recover after a brush with the heat, Overheated Weim, Preventing heat exhaustion, Prevention is the best approach, Weims and heat exhaustion. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.