Overheating Can Cause Your Dogs Agonizing Death Within Minutes Yet Its Entirely AvoidableBy Dr. Becker
The hot summer months are almost upon us, and tragically, many pets will succumb to heat-related deaths between now and the arrival of cooler weather in the fall.
Most cases of dogs dying from heat exposure go unreported, so no statistics exist on how widespread the problem is. But estimates are that several hundred dogs suffer this slow, agonizing and entirely preventable fate every summer.
The loss of a beloved pet is hard enough when death is expected and the passing is painless. But losing a furry family member to an avoidable case of heatstroke is something many pet owners can never forgive themselves for.
Leaving a dog unattended in a vehicle in extreme temperatures is currently a criminal offense in a handful of states and several cities and towns. Most of the laws on the books have rescue provisions that allow certain individuals – typically police officers, firefighters, animal control officers, and store employees – to take whatever action is necessary to free an animal from a vehicle in dangerously hot or cold weather.
No matter where you live, if you see an animal left in someone else’s parked car in the heat, notify a store employee or mall security right away. If the pet’s owner can’t be located immediately, animal control or the police should be called. A pet can suffer permanent damage or death in a very short time when left in a parked vehicle on a hot day.
Symptoms of Overheating in DogsOn an 85-degree day it takes only 10 minutes for the interior of your parked car to climb to 102 degrees. In a half hour, it can reach 120 degrees. And leaving windows partially open doesn't drop the temperature inside the vehicle. Keep in mind your dog has a higher body temp than you do and she can’t cool down as efficiently as you do, either. Your dog is designed more for insulation from the cold than cooling down in the heat. You have sweat glands all over your body, but your dog's are confined to her nose and the pads of her feet. A dog that is heating up can only normalize her body temperature through panting, which just doesn't get the job done under extreme conditions. In a very short period of time, an overheated dog can suffer critical damage to her brain, heart, liver and nervous system. Symptoms of overheating in dogs include:
|Heavy panting||Elevated body temperature|
|Excessive thirst||Weakness, collapse|
|Glazed eyes||Increased pulse and heartbeat|
|Vomiting, bloody diarrhea||Seizures|
|Bright or dark red tongue, gums||Excessive drooling|