Local vet issues warning after treating two dogs for heat stroke
By Aura McMenamin
Palmerstown Veterinary Hospital are urging dog owners to be mindful in the warm weather after they treated pets for two serious cases of heat stroke this week.
With temperatures set to hit up to 28 degrees this week, vets at the Anicare hospital want dog owners to be aware of the seriousness of heat stroke and dehydration.
Dogs usually pant heavily to lose excess heat because they do not sweat. Because of this, they rely on panting to dissipate excess heat from their body. Like humans, dogs have a normal internal temperature of 37.5 degrees.
When a dog is suffering from heatstroke their body temperature can rise to 40-43 degrees, making panting inefficient.
Palmerstown Hospital vet Paula Sanfey recommended walking your pet only early in the morning or late in the evening to avoid peak temperatures on very hot days.
She said: “Ensure there is plenty of water available to drink at all times and add ice cubes to your pet’s water or freeze popsicles (treats or food) to cool them down.”
She also warned pet owners to never leave pets in the car during daylight hours in the summer, and if you’re keeping your dog in the back garden, ensure that there is always access to a shaded area.
Symptoms of heat stroke in dogs include excessive panting, difficulty breathing, deep red gums and tongue and thick saliva. Your dog might also vomit or pass bloody diarrhoea.
To make sure you can still enjoy the sunshine with your best friend, Palmerstown vet Susan Barry recommended bringing your pet into a cold or air-conditioned room, wrapping your dog up in towels that have been soaked in cold water or hosing them with cold water for no longer than two minutes.
Gardai also issued a warning to dog owners this week after they were called to rescue a pooch from a car on Monday.
Officers were alerted to the dog in the vehicle by eagle-eyed members of the public at a shopping centre.