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Hot Outside

Hello, we are having one of those weeks that keeps me going from one thing to the next.

I have a couple of blog posts that I can get ready for the coming week. While I am away, I want to remind people to take care of themselves and their pets during this heatwave.

Summer Heat

 

It is that time of year, when those of us who normally do not deal with scorching heat face it head on.

This sign is circulating the Internet. Many folks want to see if posted in every parking lot. Of course, determining if it is too hot will leave a lot of folks making a bad decision. Wouldn’t it be grand to have a device tell us how warm it is inside the car. I can see the day when our cell phone will get a signal from the car–someone is trying to steal it, the temperature is thus-and-such, etc. Maybe in the meantime, we need the sign on the door as we enter the store asking us if we forgot our child or pet in the car. I am not sure what will totally cure this problem. People make decisions.

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Revival Animal Health has an article on keeping your pet safe. Yes, they are marketing products, but the article has many good ideas. It is worth the read ==> OverheatingDogPopsicles

Let’s help prevent the unthinkable loss of our pets due to a heatstroke; and remember every year both pets and beloved children perish in this unimaginable manner. Folks, it can happen even when you are being careful. The heat is not our pet’s friend. They do not sweat like we do, to cool their body. They pant. They need our help to stay safe during the heat. It is a small thing when we consider all they give us. Water to drink, shade, water to play in, and sometimes it is too hot to be out for an extended length of time.

Rowan loves her drinking fountain

Rowan loves her drinking fountain

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.

cooling in the water

cooling in the water

The indicators that your pet may be having a heatstroke are…

  1. Excessive panting
  2. A red tongue and/or gums
  3. Sticky mouth–gums
  4. Disorientation (staggering)
  5. Stupor-like demeanor
  6. 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.

    Ray carries the exhausted Cooper ....

    Ray carries the exhausted Cooper ….

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.