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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 Donate Pet Hair to Oil Spill Clean-Up!

May 20, 2010 By: admin Category: All Sick Dog Blog Posts, Cat Grooming, Cat Health and Cat Care, Dog Grooming, General Dog Health, Pet Hair Donations for Oil Spills, Pets In The News

Pet hair can be a serious inconvenience for pet owners. Pet hair (along with dander) irritates allergies. Pet hair sticks to clothing, furniture, carpeting, the HVAC intake, and it seems to permeate every nook and cranny of your home! (Somehow, a dog hair managed to permeate my car stereo faceplate, so there’s a big red MinPin hair located in the middle of the stereo display – behind the glass. Go figure! Very curious, especially since my MinPin rarely ever rides in that particular car!)

But dog hair and cat hair can be used to help the environment and it can help save the lives of other animals like birds, dolphins and sea turtles. Pet owners can donate pet hair to the oil spill clean-up efforts! So save the dog fur and cat fur from your pet’s brush and send out the hair to the Gulf oil spill clean-up operation!

What Happens to Hair Donated to the Oil Spill in the Gulf?

Wondering where to send pet hair donations for the Gulf oil spill clean-up? One organization, called Matter of Trust, is collecting pet and human hair for the oil spill.

Human and pet hair donated to the Gulf oil spill is stuffed into nylons (Matter of Trust is also accepting donations of hole-free nylons to the oil spill clean-up) which are then covered with a layer of mesh. The hair booms are placed on the water’s surface and the hair absorbs the oil (hair is great at collecting oil – that’s why shampooing is necessary!) Pet hair donations for the oil spill are also transformed into Ottomats.

Invented by a hair stylist, Ottomats serve a similar function as hair booms, but they look like a grey blanket-sized Scotch Brite pad. Ottomats are reusable, so they’re a great way of using hair to clean up oil spills.


Where to Send Pet Hair Donations to Clean Up the Oil Spill in the Gulf

Matter of Trust is accepting hair donations from individual pet owners, groomers, barber shops, salons, alpaca farmers and just about anyone else who has human or pet hair to offer! You can register as a donor on the organization’s website under the “Ways to Contribute” section; once registered, you’ll get all of the necessary information required to donate human and/or pet hair for oil spill clean-up. (Scroll down to end of article to access the site here on The Sick Dog Blog!)

Pet owners can send in pet hair donations of any size. Matter of Trust also has some interesting videos that explain how to make hair booms (which can then be donated), how hair absorbs oil spills and more.

The need for effective, non-toxic oil spill clean-up techniques is very real, as “one quart of oil can contaminate 1 million gallons of drinking water.” So hair booms and Ottomats that aren’t used for the Gulf oil spill will definitely come in handy down the line. According to Matter of Trust, 2,600 smaller oil spills occur each year; this releases 726 million gallons of contaminants into the environment. In addition, 363 million gallons of motor oil are released into the ocean on an annual basis.

Other Uses for Pet Hair: Turn Pet Hair into Yarn and Knit a Blanket or Other Keepsake

Looking for another use for pet hair? Save dog fur and cat fur from home pet grooming sessions until you have 3 to 5 pounds of fur (the quantity varies depending on the item you’ll be creating from the pet hair yarn.)

Next, find a local crafter who can spin the fur into yarn. (Crafters who spin fur into yarn can be found online.) Once this is complete, the yarn can be knitted into a blanket, scarf or another keepsake. Turning pet fur into yarn and creating knitted or crocheted items is a great way to feel close to a pet, particularly once they’ve passed on.

To learn more about hair donations for the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, read How to Donate Fur and Hair for Oil Spill Clean-up.

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