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Canine Trauma

Warm Weather Warning: Heat Stress and Your Dog

Summer vacation season can pose special problems for the working dog. Help keep your dog healthy and safe by following these simple tips.

Any dog can suffer from heat stress. Particularly susceptible are:

--Very young and older dogs
--Dogs with a previous history of heat stress
--Short-nosed breeds
--Overweight dogs
--Dogs with cardiovascular or respiratory disorders

To help prevent heat stress:

--Provide plenty of clean, fresh water for your dog at all times.
--Provide adequate ventilation and air circulation when dogs are kept in kennels, pens, or crates.
--Provide shade cover when dogs are outdoors.
--Avoid excessive exercise of dogs in hot weather.
--Never leave your dog in a parked vehicle.

The Warning Signs

Some signs of heat stress are profuse panting and salivation, staring or an anxious expression, failure to respond to commands, warm dry skin, high fever, rapid heartbeat, fatigue, muscular weakness, or collapse.

Emergency Treatment

If your dog has heat stress, try to reduce his temperature by gradually immersing him in cool water, spraying him with cool water, or applying ice packs to his head and neck. Then take your dog to the veterinarian immediately.

This information provided courtesy of the NAPCC and Ralston Purina Company.

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