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Archive for the ‘Home Remedies for Dogs’

Summer Dangers for Pets — Dog Heat Stroke Symptoms and Treatment

July 03, 2010 By: admin Category: All Sick Dog Blog Posts, Dog Dehydration, Dog First Aid and Veterinary Emergencies, Dog Heat Stroke (Hyperthermia), Dog Safety Tips, Dog Symptoms, First Aid for Heat Stroke in Dogs, General Dog Health, Home Remedies for Dog Heat Stroke, Pale Gums in a Dog, Summer and Hot Weather Safety Tips for Pets, Symptoms of Heat Stroke in Dogs

Learn About Dog Heat Stroke Symptoms and Emergency First Aid Treatment for Overheated Dogs. (Bill Davenport Photo)

Learn About Dog Heat Stroke Symptoms and Emergency First Aid Treatment for Overheated Dogs. (Bill Davenport Photo)

Every summer, thousands of dogs and cats are injured or killed due to heat stroke, also known as hyperthermia.

In the hot weather, a dog can develop heat stroke during a walk or jog, while sitting in a hot car, or even while sitting outside in the sun. Some dog breeds are more prone to heat stroke, including Brachycephalic dogs like the Pug, Pekingese and Bulldog. Double-coated dogs — like the Siberian Husky and Pomeranian — are also prone to overheating.

My latest article on Suite101, titled Dog Heat Stroke Symptoms, Treatment — Signs of an Overheated Pet, explains how to recognize a dog’s symptoms of heat stroke and how to administer first aid for a pet who is overheated. Dr. Michael Levine, DVM, shares information on a dog’s heat stroke symptoms, emergency treatment for overheated dogs and he discusses hot weather dangers and situations that lead to heat stroke.

Dog Heat Stroke Symptoms — Red or Pale Gums, Stumbling, Seizure and More

As many pet owners know, a dog’s normal temperature is 100.5 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit.

Hyperthermia or “heat stroke” occurs when the animal’s core body temperature rises due to overheating from exercise and/or exposure to hot weather. In dogs, heat stroke (mild to moderate) is diagnosed if the dog’s body temperature reaches 103.0 to 106.0 degrees. In severe heat stroke, dog body temperature will rise to 106.0 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.

In a case of heat stroke, dogs may exhibit symptoms like:

  • Discolored dog gums (brick red gums in a dog with mild or moderate heat stroke; white pale gums in dogs with severe heat stroke)
  • Stumbling, collapse, weakness, a lack of coordination or refusal to walk
  • Tremors or seizure
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • Inability to drink water due to heavy panting
  • Loss of consciousness or coma

Dog Heat Stroke Treatment and First Aid

Dogs require immediate first aid treatment if hyperthermia (the oppose of “hypothermia” ) is suspected. In this article, you’ll learn how to help a dog with heat stroke with home treatment measures like:

  • Moving the dog out of the sun and heat; ideally, the dog should be taken indoors to an air conditioned location
  • Slowly cooling the dog with water and fans
  • Monitoring the dog’s core temperature

You’ll also find out how to help a dog with heat stroke after cooling has started. You’ll also find out why it’s important to avoid heat stroke treatments like ice water, pools and other methods that rapidly cool a hot dog’s core temperature.

In addition to discussing how to help a dog with heat stroke, Dr. Levine explains how to know when it’s time to transport the dog to an emergency veterinary clinic. Remember, cooling an overheated dog is the first step; once the dog’s body temperature has been lowered out of the danger zone, the pet owner can transport the dog to the veterinary clinic for further treatment.

Hyperthermia After Care — Why it’s Vital to Take an Overheated Dog to the Veterinary Clinic

It’s important to note that once an overheated dog has been cooled, he’s not out of the woods. In dogs, heat stroke triggers a series of changes inside the body — think of it like a domino effect. This downward spiral or “domino effect” will continue, even once the dog’s body temperature has been lowered. In cases of severe heat stroke, dogs require emergency veterinary treatment if they are to survive; dogs who are not treated can and will die from hyperthermia complications.

Dr. Levine also explains many of the health complications associated with heat stroke in dogs, along with why you should always bring a dog to the veterinary clinic after a heat stroke.

Common complications from overheating in dogs include:

  • Dehydration
  • Shock (symptoms include low blood pressure, heart arrhythmia, pale gums)
  • Organ failure, including heart failure and kidney failure
  • Blood clotting problems and bleeding
  • Breathing problems (particularly in dogs with asthma)

Very young animals, sick pets, elderly dogs and dogs with a pre-existing medical condition will likely see additional complications from heat stroke.

To learn more about the symptoms and signs of heat stroke in dogs, along with Dr. Levine’s recommendations on how to treat heat stroke in dogs, read Dog Heat Stroke Symptoms, Treatment — Signs of an Overheated Pet.

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How to Clean a Dog’s Wound or Incision – Prevent Infection in a Pet’s Wounds

January 13, 2010 By: admin Category: All Sick Dog Blog Posts, Cleaning Dog Wounds, Dog First Aid and Veterinary Emergencies, Dog Injuries, Dog Surgeries and Incisions, Dog Symptoms, Dog Wounds and Infections, General Dog Health, Home Remedies for Dogs, Home Remedies to Treat Dog Wounds, Symptoms of Infection in Dogs

Click to Learn More – ProCollar Inflatable Elizabethan Collar for Dogs

Cleaning a dog’s wound properly can mean the difference between quick healing and an infected dog wound that requires surgical debridement. Following surgery, pet owners must also clean a dog’s incision to prevent infection. The steps for cleaning a dog’s wound or incision are essentially the same.

How to Clean a Wound on a Dog

The following steps must taken immediately after a dog sustains a cut, bite or other wound. The first step to prevent a dog’s wound from getting infected: perform these steps as soon as possible following the injury, particularly if the dog has suffered a bite wound.

  1. Apply pressure to stop the bleeding (unless it’s a bite wound or puncture wound – bite wounds should be allowed to bleed for a few minutes to flush bacteria from the wound, providing the bleeding is not profuse.)
  2. Use scissors or clippers to trim fur from around the dog’s wound or cut. This will provide better access for cleaning, better visibility and increased air flow, thereby decreasing the chances that the wound will get infected.
  3. Flush the dog’s wound with warm water under the faucet or shower for two minutes. If it’s a bite wound, puncture wound or a contaminated wound (i.e. dirt, sand, etc. ), you will need to flush the wound for five full minutes. This may seem like a long time, but it’s essential for preventing infection in bite wounds and to remove debris and bacteria from the pet’s wound.
  4. Wash the dog’s wound with anti-bacterial soap like Dial. Wash the dog’s wound for two full minutes to disinfect it and then flush for an additional one minute to rinse away all traces of the soap.
  5. Use a paper towel to dry the area surrounding the wound. Avoid using towels in the immediate vicinity of the wound, as they tend to harbor bacteria.
  6. Pour Betadine into/around the wound or apply a generous amount of Betadine to a cotton ball and apply to the wound and the surrounding area (1 inch diameter). If Betadine is not available, hydrogen peroxide will suffice, but after the first day, you will need to use it 1/2 strength to prevent tissue damage and delayed healing.
  7. Allow the Betadine to air dry in and around the dog’s wound. Do not blow on the Betadine or fan it dry; this will contaminate the wound. Allow it to air dry.
  8. Apply a dab of triple antibiotic ointment or Neosporin® during the first 48-72 hours. After the first 2-3 days, skip this step.

After the initial cleaning, you can steps 1 and 2.

Do not bandage a dog’s wound unless it’s located on the dog’s paw or unless directed to do so by your veterinarian. Paw pad injuries are one of the only cases when a dog’s wound should be bandaged with 2-3 layers of rolled gauze and a couple layers of self-adhering bandage. The paw should be bandaged in a figure 8 pattern, with the loops around the dog’s paw and the dog’s ankle.

How to Clean a Dog’s Incision After Surgery

The steps to clean a dog’s incision are essentially the same as mentioned above. You will not need to perform steps 1 or 2, since there should not be any bleeding and the veterinary clinic will have already shaved the area surrounding the dog’s incision.

Often, a dog’s incision will weep fluids. This can create a scabby, crusty area that makes it impossible to clean the incision properly. So before cleaning the dog’s incision, apply a warm, damp washcloth to the area for 10-15 minutes (you will need to re-moisten the washcloth a few times to keep it warm). Once the crusty discharge has softened, it will wipe away easily.

Then, pet owners can clean the incision by following steps 4 through 8 above.

Other Tips for Caring for a Dog’s Wound or Incision

Click to Learn More – Top Paw Mesh Muzzle for Dogs (to Prevent Nips While Cleaning a Dog's Wound or Incision)

You must prevent the dog from licking the wound or incision. You will need to purchase an e-collar (also known as lampshade collars or Elizabethan collars) from the veterinary clinic or a pet supply store like PetSmart. Another great option is the inflatable e-collar. These are smaller, more comfortable for the dog and they’re very effective in preventing a dog from licking a wound.

In addition, while cleaning a dog’s wound or incision, the process may be quite painful for the dog. So it may be necessary to muzzle the pet to prevent a dog bite. If a muzzle is not available, a makeshift muzzle can be created with a bandanna, a strip of fabric or similar. (Note: You should never leave a muzzled dog unattended!)

Owners of a wounded dog will also need to know when to take a dog to the veterinary clinic. Learn how to know if a dog needs stitches, and how to know if it’s okay to treat a dog’s wound at home and when professional help is best. To learn more, read Dog Wounds and Surgical Incisions – Should I Take My Dog to the Vet? on The Sick Dog Blog.

(Pictured – ProCollar Inflatable Elizabethan Collar for Dogs, Available at PetSmart. Price Varies Depending on Size.)

(Pictured – Top Paw Mesh Muzzle, Available at PetSmart. Price Varies Depending on Size.)

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