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The weather is getting warmer and we would all like to take a dive in the pool. We always think about pool safety for our little ones, but why not for our pets. This is not just limited to things in the water.
Hypothermia is just another name for low body temperature. This is a danger when dealing with unheated pools, ponds, lakes, and rivers. If your dog or cat appears to be chilly give them a warm bath, not hot. Then don a blanket or old sweater to maintain body heat. Now that is just when it comes to a moderate case. A severe case may present as dilated pupils, stupor or coma, pale or blue gums, decreased heart rate and respiratory rate, and shivering. The heart and kidneys may also be affected. If this is noticeable wrap the animal in a blanket, using hot water bottles or balloons next to the animal. DO NOT USE HEATING PADS. This may cause burns on your animal. After all of this transport your animal to you veterinarian or emergency clinic as soon as possible.
There are other injuries that can happen when dealing with the summertime. Heat stroke is not just for the old. The signs of heats stroke include (but are not limited to) body temperatures of 104-110 degrees Fahrenheit, excessive panting, dark or bright red tongue and gums, staggering, stupor, seizures, bloody diarrhea or vomiting, coma, and death. Short-nose breeds, such as bulldogs and pugs, large-heavy coated breeds, and dogs with heart and/or respiratory problems are more at risk for heat stroke. If you suspect heat stroke use cool water, NOT ICE WATER, to cool your pet. Do not aid cooling below 103 degrees Fahrenheit, as this may cause hypothermia. For a less mild case provide shelter with shade, fresh water, and good grooming. Heat exhaustion is not as serious but still a threat.
Does hair color really make a difference? In a couple of ways it does. Light color animals are more prone to sunburn and skin cancer. When it comes to cats, they love to "sun bathe". Long term effects of sun exposure may include skin cancer such as squamous cell carcinoma and malignant melanoma.
There are easy ways to avoid these tragedies. Always keep an eye on your pet when playing around the water and when in the sun. Provide shelter, shade and cool water for your pets. Best of all enjoy your summer days with your pet.
page last modified on: 8/28/2013