Winter is coming to an end & its time for dog parks, frisbee, and dogge playdates! Enjoy!
As responsible owners, be aware that heat stroke is a major concern for Frenchies! Your frogdog will play and romp with such energy, and easily overdo in warmer weather. Know what the signs are and how to treat heat stroke. Below are exerpts from Linda Kalmar DVM 's article about heatstroke.....
Linda Kalmar, DVM
Heatstroke occurs when the body’s normal compensatory mechanisms are overcome. Dogs are inefficient at cooling because they don’t sweat — they can only cool themselves by panting. Certain conditions such as brachycephalic faces and laryngeal
paralysis can predispose dogs to heatstroke........
How can heatstroke happen to dogs that belong to smart owners like us?
• Dogs left in car • Crated dog left near heat vent
• Local weather changes • Travel related weather changes
• Unexpected shutoff of A/C at home or in motor home
• Dark coated dogs in the sun absorb more heat than light coated dogs
Early signs of heat exhaustion:
• Heavy panting •Weakness • Confusion / lack of attention • Possibly vomiting /diarrhea
• Bright red gums/tongue (and red ears in Frenchies with pink ear
linings). The gum should show rapid capillary refill; that is when you draw your fingernail along it the gum should whiten, but then quickly turn red again.
• Increased salivation early (often thick, ropey saliva), then no
Severe heat stroke signs:
• Rapid heartbeat / pulse
• Vomiting blood
• Bloody diarrhea
• Severe ataxia (staggering)
• Gums may turn greyish, blueish, lavender.diarrhea “ “
So I see a dog in distress; what should I do?
• Move dog to shade/cooler place immediately
• Mist dog heavily with tepid water to cool (BUT NOT COLD) water
and turn a fan on it.
If no electric fan is available, fan it yourself. The aim is to
move air over the dog’s body so at to cause the water to evaporate and “pull” heat with it (evaporative cooling).
• DO NOT PLUNGE DOG INTO ICE OR ICE WATER!! The capillaries at the surface of the skin,.....will constrict in response to the cold, thus
slowing heat loss and possibly even raising the dog’s core temperature. Even tepid water is much cooler than the dog’s body temp. The most important need is to get the air circulating.
* Do NOT lay wet towels on the dog. These warm up rapidly and can actually trap the heat. Air movement past the dog’s damp skin is the key!
• Don’t use large amounts of alcohol for cooling as it can be
absorbed through the skin and reach toxic levels.
Continue to monitor the dog’s rectal temperature and stop
cooling efforts when it gets down to 103 F. At that point you can dry the dog off and move the fans back a bit, as you don’t want its temp to drop too far too fast. If the dog is alert it is ok to offer a little
cool (NOT ICY) water. Continue taking the rectal temp for awhile
to make sure the temp continues to fall. Should it start to rise again, re-mist and fan some more.
If the dog was in actual heatstroke — not just the early stages
of heat exhaustion — it is vital to get him/her to a veterinary clinic where he/she can be monitored around the clock for two or three days. That’s because when the body temp goes above 106 F, the cells actually “cook” ..........changes occur which can lead to liver and/or kidney failure, ...swelling of the brain......This can then lead to internal hemorrhaging and death..........
If you are able to get a dog in heatstroke to the vet quickly enough, treatment will mostly be supportive: close monitoring, IV fluids, measurement of fluid intake/output, temperature monitoring, steroids....
Dogs who have suffered from severe heatstroke are at increased
risk of episodes for the rest of their lives due to damage to the thermoregulatory center in the brain. So remember:
PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN TREATMENT!!
******To read the entire article go to http://frenchbulldogclub.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/HEATSTROKE.pdf