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Dog Owner Warning Others Of Heat Stroke Signs After Pet Dies

ryan.ford 19 Jul 2019

Those moments when our dogs need to hit the great outdoors for a good leg stretch and some relief can actually be prime bonding time. When nature calls, you can take the opportunity to run around the park together, fetch a tennis ball, or even just lay back in the shade and enjoy the grass between your toes.

However, a dog owner is reminding us all to be wary with our pooches after one of those prime bonding times went horribly wrong.

It takes surprising little for tragedy to strike.

Unsplash | Ana Martin

As the RSPCA posted on Facebook, an awful turn of events for a dog owner in Britain has them prompting a reminder of the signs of heat stroke - and that it's worth looking out for them after even a seemingly harmless walk.

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As the post says, this tragedy struck a healthy dog on a day that wasn't even very hot.

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"This morning we have been informed that yesterday a local dog died of heat stroke after being taken on a walk at 9am when the temperature was 21 degrees," the post says 21 degrees C translates to about 70 degrees F.

"The dog was 5 years old and otherwise fit and healthy," the post added.

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The folks at the RSPCA noted that although in this case the dog was taken out in reasonable conditions, they often see it happening under more dangerous circumstances.

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"Despite lots of warnings about the heat we still see dogs being walked to the shops, on the school run, or as soon as owners get in from work," they wrote. "We do understand the crucial nature of walking your dog, however please bear in mind that walking in high temperatures can cause serious and irreversible damage, and in some cases death. Yesterday the high for the day was at 4pm but this is when most of the dogs we spotted were out and about."

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They also noted that although some breeds are more susceptible to heat stroke, all dogs can suffer in the heat.

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"It does not matter if your dog is white, young, not a bull breed or ‘used to the heat’. Please be mindful of their needs," they wrote.

Even fit and healthy dogs can succumb to overheating because dogs can't regulate their body temperature as well as humans can.

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So, what are the signs of heat stroke?

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There are obvious signs to look for, such as panting, drooling and salivating, and breathing distress. You might also notice your dog is agitated or restless, or that it's dizzy or staggering around.

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There are more subtle signs that can show up as well.

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Very red or pale, dry, and sticky gums, a bright red tongue, an increased heart rate, confusion, lethargy and weakness are all signs of heat stress.

From there it gets worse: diarrhea or vomiting, tremors, collapsing, seizures, and little to no urine production.

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If you do notice these signs, there are things you can do to help your pet cool down.

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The RSPCA cautions against using very cold or ice water to cool your pet down because it could make things worse, but cool or tepid water can help, and using a fan can help maximize the heat loss.

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But of course, prevention is the easiest way to go.

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That's why it's always recommended that dogs have access to fresh drinking water, a dedicated well-ventilated spot to cool down, and to avoid hot areas like sand, asphalt, and concrete especially when temperatures are high.

h/t Facebook | RSPCA

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