This is a repost of a very important reminder for our pets.
#FurbabyFridays Revisits Heat Stroke and Warm Weather Death Traps
I originally posted the following blog on May 9, 2012. In light of the death of a patient because it was left in a car at a BART station for nearly 7 HOURS while the owner went off for the day to Goddess knows what, I thought it was important to bring up the topic again. The day this Pit bull died? It was in the low 70’s and clear blue skies. We weren’t dealing with a heat wave, just a sunny day and a dog left in a car that quickly became an oven and an instrument of death. Don’t like the thought of a dog seizuring out of control for hours? Don’t like the image in your head? Me either and neither did the Good Samaritans who called the police when they saw the dog seizuring in that car. Please, please, please! Don’t leave your pets or your children in cars alone unattended while you “run a quick errand.” Leaving them home or with supervision and the air conditioner on could save their lives. Read on to learn more about heat stroke. ~Dr. Tammy
People don’t often realize how dangerous warm weather can be for their pets. Not only are there the obvious dangers of being hit by cars, allergic reactions to insect bites, snake bites, and the ever “evil” pieces of weed seed called foxtails commonly found here in California, there is something else that ranks up pretty high in the danger list as the temperatures rise above 70 degrees.
Heatstroke is unfortunately a very common occurrence this time of year, and not just for dogs left in cars. Although rare in cats, it has been reported in cases were the feline was trapped in a clothes dryer, left in carriers in hot vehicles or indoors with little or no ventilation. Exotic pets can also be victims. Rabbits, chinchillas, rats and guinea pigs are frequently presented to emergency veterinarians near death because their hutches and cages are placed in areas with little or no shade and are provided with little to no water while their body temperatures soar.
For the purpose of this article, I will focus more on dogs, but honestly all the information discussed here can be applied to the other furry friends. There are many ways animals can become dangerously overheated. Dogs have sweat glands only on the pads of their feet and cool themselves primarily by panting. When the air is hot and humid, they cannot rid themselves of the excess heat efficiently. Heat exhaustion or heat stroke is more likely to occur during the first hot days of spring or summer when it’s 70-75 degrees than on a 100 degree day in August.
Why? Because by the end of summer dogs are used to the heat and typically their owners know enough by then to take it easy with themselves and their pets. It’s early on when dogs and people are simply not acclimated to the heat and can easily overexert themselves in the new warm temperatures.
Quite a few people travel with their pets when the days are warm, even running errands with their pets “riding shotgun.” Unfortunately, unless you plan on leaving the engine running and the air conditioning on full blast, leaving your dog in the car while you run into that store for a “few seconds” is simply NOT an option. Whether or not you leave the windows down or up, park in the shade or not, it doesn’t matter. Here’s a chart demonstrating how hot the inside of the car can get at various outdoor temperatures.
Pretty frightening isn’t it? Within 20 minutes your car can be 30 degrees warmer than the outside temperature! Being left inside a car isn’t the only cause of heat stroke. Here are a few others.
1. Physical exertion during the heat of the day. This can include going for a run with their owner, playing outside, running along the backyard fence, etc. Heat stroke can even occur inside if the house is warm and the dog becomes excited.
2. Being outdoors in hot weather without access to cool water and shade. Dogs that are tied or kenneled outside can sometimes get trapped out of reach of shade or water.
3. Being a certain breed whose physical conformation makes them unable to cool themselves effectively. Bulldogs, Boxers, Pit bulls, Rottweilers, Boston Terriers, etc all have short noses, small airways and excess tissue at the back of their throats that can make it difficult to get rid of excess heat.
4. Confinement in a poorly ventilated cage or crate especially under a cage dryer such as when a dog is being groomed.
5. Being overweight
6. Having medical ailments such as heart or airway diseases that can impair breathing. Heart failure, arrhythmias, laryngeal paralysis, pulmonary hypertension, asthma, and bronchitis can all make dogs predisposed to heatstroke.
7. Being very old or very young
So what are some of the symptoms of heatstroke? Each patient is different, but if you see any of these with your dog on a hot day, it would be wise to seek help from a veterinarian earlier rather than later.
1. Heavy panting: rapid or labored breathing
2. Bright or brick red gums. These may also be dry to the touch
3. Weakness or collapse
4. Elevated rectal temperature. Normal is between 100-102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Seek IMMEDIATE veterinary care if the temperature is 105 or higher. Once an animal’s body temperature approaches 109 degrees, brain damage is highly likely.
6. Bloody diarrhea
7. Dark urine
8. Bleeding from the mouth
9. Seizure or coma
DEATH can occur within 20 minutes or in a couple of days from delayed complications such as kidney failure.
Now that you’ve scared the heck out of us, what do we do to prevent our pets from getting heatstroke?
It’s all basic common sense. Don’t leave your dog in the car when the outdoor temperatures are over 70 degrees and definitely not on bright sunny days. Restrict your pets activity during the heat of the day. Don’t go jogging at high noon with your dog. It’s way too hot for him and for you.
Allow your pets to gradually acclimate to warm weather, especially if they are physically active. Always provide access to shade and cool water when dogs are outside Keep breeds at risk, very old, very young or dogs with health conditions indoors in cool, well ventilated areas. If there is a heat advisory issued, please keep all animals inside. If unable to do so, use misters, fans, or wading pools to provide extra cooling measures for outdoor pets.
What do we do if our pet does suffer from heat exhaustion or heat stroke?
First of all, try not to panic! Your pet needs swift and immediate intervention in order to give it the best chance of survival.
1. Immediately move the dog indoors or to a cool area. If in an enclosed crate, remove the dog from it immediately.
2. Wet the dog down with cool water. Do not use ice water as that will make internal cooling more difficult by constricting blood vessels.
3. Take the rectal temperature. If it’s over 105 degrees, transport immediately for veterinary care. Know where the nearest emergency clinic is located. Call en route to let them now you are coming.
4. Do not cover your dog during transport, not even with a wet towel as that can prevent heat from escaping.
5. Offer water to drink during transport, though not to a vomiting patient. Only offer small amounts of water at a time and do not force it down your pet!
6. Transport in an air-conditioned car or lower windows so circulating air can help with evaporative cooling.
7. Stop cooling measures when the rectal temperature reaches 103 degrees so you don’t over do it and result in hypothermia.
8. Even if your pet seems to respond to treatment, it is still best to have them evaluated by a veterinarian to check for internal problems. Complications from heat stroke can develop several hours to days later due to organ damage caused by high internal temperatures.
Still not convinced it could happen to you and your beloved pet? Click on the link below…
The above link is to a graphic that I found today discussing what actually happens to that dog left in a car on a nice day…even with the windows down! I see way too many cases of heat stroke during the nice days here in California. The biggest excuse I hear from people? “I was only gone a few seconds.” Yeah, right! You try staying in a hot car with a fur coat for just a few seconds and you tell me how you feel. What you THINK is only a few seconds is actually a few seconds too long when it comes to the health and well being of your dog.
Not only is this dangerous for dogs, it’s also a problem for cats, rabbits, other small rodents and birds. Why take the chance people! Leave you pets at home when you run errands, or have someone stay in the car with them with the air conditioner running.
Did you know that in most cities across the country it is ILLEGAL to leave a pet unattended in a car? Just because you haven’t been caught doing it, doesn’t mean that it’s okay to keep doing it. So please, please, please be a responsible pet owner and keep them safe in ALL weather!
I thrilled to share the news today. Waking Up Dead is live in paperback at Amazon and the book is on sale! In celebration of the event, I’m sharing a excerpt from the second installment of the Western Werewolf Legend series.
Enjoy and leave your comments below for a chance at your own copy of the book. I’ll choose one lucky winner to receive Waking Up Dead in paperback. Thanks again for your wonderful response to the book and please go to Amazon or the dealer you bought the book from to leave a review. They are so important to the author. Have a wonderful Saturday and don’t forget to comment to be in the drawing!
Read an Excerpt
Convening near the glade Ty had rescued Sonja from the first night she’d experienced the change, the small band of ragtag refugees huddled close to listen to plans for the next day. Each man among them had long ago relinquished dreams of the future. None among them held any far-flung notions of tomorrow. No, there was only survival and each minute a precious reminder of how quickly their fates could change.
Understanding Ty’s hatred of the Yankees and how hard it was to contain his fury, Sonja said little. As she thought of all the south had suffered at the hands of these bastards, a kindred spirit emerged regarding their plight. Unable to justify even the human Yankees position, she had no intention of letting him die for her. Though the sparks flew whenever the subject was brought up, she secretly vowed she’d leave before she let that happen.
Sonja waited until the briefing ended to separate herself from the men and clean up. Having the stench of vampires lingering on her skin and in her nostrils warranted a bath. With Hortence standing guard, she stripped down and waded into the stream. More bruising and discoloration had disappeared, she noted. Still stiff from the battle, she sank into the water. Chilly, though it was, she revealed in the pleasure of a few moments to relax. Her nerves, so frayed from the battle as well as finding and rescuing Ty, began to unknot. Closing her eyes, she allowed her mind to wander a bit. A dream, which had haunted her sleep the last few days, came back to her in great detail. Awake, she began to go through the images forming before her.
In the dream, Sonja and Ty battled the vampires back yet again. This time, the bloodsuckers appeared in uncountable numbers. Somehow separated each battled the Yankees on their own. The demons advanced toward her in a surge of insurmountable proportion. Ty’s growl of fury echoed in her mind as she lashed out at the oncoming demons. Fear poured through her when she heard his cry for help. Being only two against so many, she worried for his safety even with the gift of superior power. She couldn’t reach him!
Suddenly, an almost discernible ripple in the water had Sonja’s eyes opening and a soft gasp leaving her lips. Ty’s hands surrounded her waist in the water, pulling her close. He stood beside her naked and aroused against her stomach. The delirious sensation of desire warmed her as he made sure their bodies came together making her aware of him all along her length. His pride swelled with their combined heat and she moaned aloud with pleasure. “You certainly know how to make an entrance, Lieutenant.”
He grinned that wolfish grin of his, which had every nerve in her body going on high alert. Her attraction to this man could not be denied, nor could she deny how much she cared for him and wanted desperately to protect him. Even if his male pride wouldn’t recognize her efforts. After making love at night, Sonja would lie awake as her exhausted brain tried desperately to devise a way to keep him safe. He may have feelings for her, but this mess wasn’t of his making. He didn’t deserve to endure the hardships dumped upon him.
Ty lowered his head and captured her lips bringing her attentions back to focus on the man.
“My woman is thinking again, I see.” He nipped her bottom lip before switching his attentions to her earlobe followed by the tender skin along her neck.
“Of late, I think a lot. Still, I can’t find the answers.” She dropped her head back as his tongue lingered near her collarbone. His teeth found the taste of her enticing. Before she could object, he’d taken her mouth again in a kiss more forceful than the first. Scorching her with its intensity, branding her with its fire, the kiss drove Sonja to simply stand, unable to move in the sizzling heat of his embrace.
“You needed worry about answers. They will come.” Ty’s breath, warm and moist on her skin shoved rational thoughts to the back of the line as he traced the swell of one wet breast to the taut peak. The sensation of his mouth on her flesh, nursing her nipple tugged at her coherency. Soon the pull on her womb from his attentions brought a creamy warmth to pool between her legs. Lax with desire, Sonja held on with everything she had left. “Have you finished your bath, my lady?”
The question seemed rhetorical to Sonja. “If I wasn’t would it matter?” she chided. Wanting to prick his conscience, she ran a slip, damp finger along the bridge of his perfectly straight Choctaw nose. “You sir aren’t behaving like a gentleman. What’s a poor defenseless girl to do?”
“Well, since you ask, I can think of a thing or two she could do.” Without another word, he scooped her up and sloshed out of the water. Sonja considered he would deposit her on the bank and allow her to get dressed.
She was wrong. Instead, Ty carried her further from the water’s edge before gently laying her back on a blanket she hadn’t realized was there. On the cover of a great old oak tree, he stretched out beside her and used his shirt to dry her limbs before throwing the voluminous dress she had taken off over them both as protection from anyone who should happen upon them.
Her body hummed with anticipation as he ran his long, lean hand slowly down her slight curves to the crisp hair of her mound. Unable to take her eyes off his profile, Sonja’s breath caught in a surge of yearning so abrupt and intense it felt like pain.
“Ah, my woman wants me, I wager. You’ve missed me while I was gone?” His voice had gone low with desire. Slipping two fingers inside the heat of her need, Ty stroked steadily.
Sonja could have floated on such a whisper-thin cloud of sensation forever. No one had ever made her feel like this man did. Certainly not her first husband, Robert, rest his dead soul. Sex had been merely a means to an end with him, nothing to compare to this dissent into paradise with Ty.
“Tell me, Sonja, did you miss me? I want to hear the words.” The thinly veiled passion in his eyes stirred her longing to new heights as he worked a third finger inside her. Sonja felt her muscles tighten as desire warmed her to the core.
“Yes, I missed you so much.” Reaching up, she sank her hand into his long dark hair, which was still damp from the stream. “Please, Ty. I want you inside me.”
“Soon, Sonja, soon. But first, I want to taste you. I want to capture your need and drink you in like wine.” His mouth grazed her nipple as his fingers continued their onslaught.
Sonja arched with the contact of his mouth on her breast. The tug of his mouth sent her spiraling down into a world where only need and desire reigned supreme. Any other thoughts vanished into oblivion.
Grazing his jaw against her stomach as he traveled lower, he growled low in his throat. “Um, this is what a man wants to come home to.” Parting her legs, he slid between her thighs. With hot, whispers of breath, he feathered his mouth along the silken skin in a path to her core.
Sonja arched with a groan from deep inside her depths. This man wanted her like she could never have imagined and she would give herself to him completely. No question of holding back surfaced in the assault on her senses. He was her mate and she would give herself freely to him now and forever.
With a sound akin to a howl, Ty rose up and thrust himself inside Sonja, burying himself to the hilt. Slowly at first, he moved, setting a steady pace. His thrusts spoke of procession as he captured her eyes with desire lighting his. Forcefully he plunged again and again as he rode the wave of passion’s fury.
It was like looking into his soul for Sonja. Her hunger for him drove her on. Furthering the fever of her need with the exhilaration of seeing his so ripe and ample. With release upon him, he forced his head back and growled at the moon overhead as he filled her with his seed.
In the quiet of love’s aftermath, Sonja stroked the lines of her lover’s muscled chest. His slow, steady breathing spoke of contentment. Marveling at the complete sensation of fulfillment, Sonja rested her head on his shoulder, closing her eyes in the twilight of their mating. What will we do now, Ty?” Her question came from the pent up emotions she kept under lock and key. No real purpose in them, except to plan for the morrow. She felt his attention shift from the groggy state of semi-consciousness to fully awake and with him spooned behind her, his mind wasn’t the only thing fully awake.
“We’ll make plans to leave tomorrow,” he said.
She sighed and a small smile crept over her face. So glad to be leaving the dreaded area, which she’d called home only a little over a week before. Now the mention of the area put her on high alert.
Ty let his hands roam freely over her with backside, molding his hands to her behind. “I needed to do this. You understand, Sonja.”
He seldom used her proper name, choosing to call her by his pet name instead. Where he’d gotten ‘Nymph’ from she couldn’t be sure. Still, the endearment warmed her like the man did. His breath was on her neck, as he tasted her nape, lingering over her shoulder to enjoy the sweet flavor he assured her only she processed. The warmth of his attentions urged her to forget all the troubles, which never left her conscious person. In this man’s arms, she enjoyed sex like never before. His readiness to please her, his stamina and above all, his inherent talent for giving her exactly what she needed made Tyler Loflin unique among men. He’d called her his woman and she couldn’t think of him in any other frame but her man. Hortence and the Guardian referred to him as her mate. The term agreed with her despite its relationship to her being a werewolf, to both of them being werewolves.
Ty nudged closer to her bottom, giving her cheek a good rub with his arousal. Hard as granite, he plied her for what they both wanted, which was more. Finding it impossible to get enough of each other, soon, Sonja knew she would find herself with child. The thought didn’t alarm her as it had before. No, in fact, having Tyler’s baby was something she daydreamed. A gush of feminine awareness brought her back as his magical hands followed a familiar path between her legs. The distinct warmth flooding the area between her legs didn’t ebb though she attempted to concentrate on something else.
It was as if a primitive force inside him demanded he reach for her. Somehow, she recognized the call. Sonja turned to him and nuzzled the warm skin along the strong column of his neck. There his heart beat strong and solid against her lips. With one hand on his chest and the other fisted in his long mane of dark hair, she moved in capturing his bottom lip, giving him a hard nip. With the taste of her still on his mouth, the kiss managed to arouse and tantalize her further. The call grew stronger. Wanton need swelled in them both. The flames of passion fanned out and caught them up in the fireball. While the stars sparkled overhead and the old oak sheltered the two, Ty and Sonja succumbed to the desire burning beyond their control.