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Animals Cope with Rising Temperatures June 7, 2011

Filed under: WWL-TV Stories — kswige1 @ 8:16 pm

By: Kristen Swiger

-New Orleans

People are desperate to keep cool and escape from the record-high temperatures creeping up all along the south. Our four-legged friends are no exception.

Dianne Cooke runs Camp Bow-Wow and takes care of more than a hundred dogs a day. She knows how important it is to make sure dogs stay cool in excessive heat. “You can’t leave dogs outside, you can’t let them play, exert themselves, they’ll overheat, they’ll run around with their friends. It’s a huge concern to keep them hydrated,” she said.

The dog camp has bone and paw-shaped pools and even popsicles to keep the dogs hydrated.

Most don’t realize how easily dogs can overheat. Leaving them outside for the day or even in the car for a couple of minutes can be deadly. It doesn’t take long for temperatures to reach 140 degrees inside a car.

While humans can sweat in order to cool off, dogs are only able to release heat from their paws, ears, armpits and by panting, so it doesn’t take much to send them into heat shock.

SPCA Veterinarian Dr. Melisse Conway said that dogs with shorter faces, as well as overweight dogs, are more susceptible to heat problems, but it can be fatal for all types. “They go into shock, thier body goes into excessive heat and starts breaking down their proteins, white gums,” she said.

Conway said the best thing to do is hose them down with cool water, wrap them in a wet towel and bring them to the vet, but never ice them off. She said, “It will constrict their blood vessels so they can’t lose the heat.”

If you notice your pets experiencing any of these warning symptoms, please transport them to a veterinarian or animal clinic as soon as possible.

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