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Carol Hughes Blog

It's HOT but you're not in a fur coat!!!!

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Look at that face!!!! That's my Buddy and I know right now he's happy at home in an air conditioned house. Probably laying on my bed looking out the window. With record-setting temperatures please keep in mind that your pets are in FUR COATS!

(Photo of Buddy by Christopher Clark Designer Portraits - thanks Chris!)

Yesterday I was on facebook and someone had posted that they had just finished running four miles with their dog. It was still almost 100 degrees outside. I only hope she had water for her dog on that run. Dogs sometimes think it's their job to keep us happy and do what we want them to do - including running four miles on an incredibly hot day. But sometimes it's just NOT a good day to run with your dog. Buddy and I still took a walk yesterday (much shorter and later in the evening) but I took his water bottle and dish with me. Years ago my dog Jess had a heatstroke and it was a VERY scary situation including a trip to the emergency vet. I know that girl had great intentions about running her dog but it can happen so quickly. In fact, the day Jess had her heatstroke it wasn't nearly as hot as it is now.

Make sure you watch out for your pet. Look for:

* Rapid breathing .
* Discolored gums - in fact when Jess had her heat stroke by the time I got her to the vet both her gums AND tongue were VERY gray
(Dogs with heat stroke have dull gray or pink gums instead of the normal red-pink color.)
* They can be disoriented
* Extremely lethargic and even unable to get up. I literally had to carry Jess to the car. She was 70 pounds and that wasn't easy to do. 
* Your dog has a wild or panicked expression.

Heatstroke can also happen in your car -  it's WAY too hot to leave your dog in a car. Temperatures in a car can quickly get to 120 degrees. So do NOT leave your pet in the car even if it's parked in the shade!!!

And it can happen in your yard if they don't have adequate water and shade.

So if you're a pet owner - you took on the responsibility to care for your pet. PLEASE do and please check on your pets to make sure they stay happy, healthy and have plenty of water and a cool place to relax on these hot summer days. Jess did recover from her heat stroke but it was extremely serious. They had to give her an ice bath as a last resort and they were afraid she would have brain damage. Luckily she didn't and we had six more happy years together. Just know that a heatstroke can happen very quickly - and it could actually kill your pet.

OK, I'm stepping off the soap box now...

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