Even though our weather forecasters have warned today of torrential downpours, lightning and strong gusty winds, analyst are still predicting the strong possibility of several more weeks of hot weather. That’s why White Cross Vets in Hyde is advising pet owners to remain vigilant after seeing a surge of heatstroke cases in recent weeks.
This follows The Met Office predicting that this summer could be the hottest since records began 108 years ago, as well as being one of the driest.
Mike Robinson from White Cross Vets in Hyde said: “Lots of pets find very hot weather difficult to deal with and this is particularly true for dogs, especially because they like to run around to exert energy. We’ve seen several heatstroke cases in recent weeks which can be dangerous and even deadly if not treated properly.
“Signs of heatstroke in dogs include very heavy panting and drool that becomes stringy rather than watery. Their tongue can turn dark purple in colour initially and then blue as the heat stroke progresses. In severe cases, dogs will collapse; start fitting and go into organ failure.
Dogs suffering from heatstroke are emergency cases and should be checked over by a vet immediately. Owners can take steps to encourage cooling by dousing their pet using cool, rather than very cold, water and moving them to a well-ventilated and shaded area. Draping a wet towel over the dog’s back will also help as will placing them in the breeze of a fan.
“Nationally there are also lots of reports of dogs having to be rescued from swelteringly hot cars. It’s vitally important to never leave a dog in a car on a warm day in any circumstances, even for a few minutes, as a dog can quickly overheat and could even die in as little as 15 minutes.”
White Cross Vets has created a list of precautions that pet owners should take during hot weather:-
- Always make sure there is always plenty of fresh water available for pets.
- Never leave your dog in a hot car and if you have to take them in the car, always plan ahead to work out what you’ll do at your destination.
- Don’t let pets stay out in the sun for prolonged periods. Make sure there are shaded areas where they can shelter from the sun, cool them down with cool water from a spray gun if needed or offer them a paddling pool to lie in.
- Walk dogs early in the morning or late at night, avoiding the hottest part of the day.
- Certain breeds require extra care. Particular caution is needed with short-nosed (brachycephalic) dogs such as Bulldogs or Pugs. Their nasal passages are smaller and narrower so it is more difficult for them to pant and therefore for them to circulate the sufficient air they need for effective cooling.
- Very active dogs, overweight dogs or dogs with thick dense fur are also at a higher risk.
- White Cross Vets have even treated dogs that have burnt their paws on hot road surfaces so be aware of how hot these can become. If it’s uncomfortable for you to touch, it’s too hot for your dog to walk on.
- Pets with fair skin or very thin coats can often suffer from sunburn in the same way humans do, but specially formulated sun creams are available to prevent this.
For further information about how to protect your pets in hot weather contact White Cross Vets or visit http://www.whitecrossvets.co.uk/posts/dogs-die-in-hot-cars/