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Woman's Heartbreaking Reminder About Your Pets This Summer After Dog Suffers Heatstroke

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Summer is traditionally a time of warm-weather fun and nostalgia. It’s a season associated with lazy afternoons, splashing in the pool, fireworks, baseball, hot dogs, and apple pie.

Unfortunately, it’s also a prime time to be on the lookout for a different type of hot dog — specifically, overheated canines. Our furry friends love the great outdoors, but that sizzling sun can do serious damage.

Many people don’t realize that dogs can’t sweat the way humans do. According to the Pet Health Network, canines have a limited number of sweat glands that are mainly concentrated in their paw pads.

This means that the primary way pups cool themselves down is by panting. They can also discharge some heat through a process called vasodilation, which involves minute expansion of blood vessels near the skin’s surface.

But on a 90-degree day, that’s not nearly enough to keep a canine cool and comfortable. And recently, a concerned Facebook user named Jess Williams ran across this issue firsthand.

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Williams was, quite literally, running at the time. According to her social media post, she’d gone out for a run during some particularly sweltering weather over the long Memorial Day weekend.

“About a mile and a half left to go, I came upon a young lady out running with her dog,” Williams explained. It might be appropriate here to point out that exercising in hot weather can make heat exchange even more challenging for a canine.

Sure enough, Williams worriedly observed that this particular miniature pooch was collapsed on the grass, in the middle of the forest preserve. “She was obviously suffering from heatstroke,” noted Williams in her post. She added that the sweet pup “was unable to get up, and was panting harder than I have ever seen a dog pant.”

Noting that the animal couldn’t even keep down a small amount of water, Williams and various bystanders jumped into action. They rushed the ailing pet to the forest preserve entrance while simultaneously alerting the local sheriff’s office, which immediately dispatched an officer with a bag of ice.

While Williams noted in her post that it’s never smart to cool a canine too quickly, she and her fellow rescuers worked diligently with what they had. This involved rubbing the little dog with ice to help reduce her body temperature, which, according to Williams, “took a good 30 minutes.”

Realizing that the pup was still in an extremely weakened condition, Williams advised the owner to proceed directly to the vet “for IV fluids and electrolyte replacement.” The good Samaritan then decided to share her story, as a way to educate other pet owners about the very real dangers of canine heatstroke.

According to veterinarian Dr. Karen Becker, even very fit dogs can succumb to moderately high temperatures in a matter of minutes. She and Williams both note that the catastrophic consequences may include collapse, seizures, organ failure, cardiac arrest, and even death.

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Williams chose to share her cautionary tale so other dogs would be spared from this exceedingly avoidable tragedy. This summer, usher your own pet indoors before you begin noticing early warning signs like excessive panting, drooling, glazed eyes, or weakness — and always keep a supply of fresh, cool water close at hand.

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Mary Bittel is a professional writer, marketer, and published author. She's produced content for several respected media organizations, and dozens of major industries including education, animal welfare, healthcare, finance, non-profit, technology, and entertainment. As an accomplished musician, she's also worked in a therapeutic teaching capacity with developmentally disabled children.
Mary Bittel is a professional writer, marketer, and published author. She's produced content for several respected media organizations, and dozens of major industries including education, animal welfare, healthcare, finance, non-profit, technology, and entertainment. As an accomplished musician, she's also worked in a therapeutic teaching capacity with developmentally disabled children. Additionally, she's an avid animal lover who has spent much of her life rehabilitating abused rescue canines.
Books Written
"The Hidden Treasury: Stories of Wonders and Wanderings"
Location
Illinois
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Music, Marketing, Nutrition, Fitness, Pet Care/Behavior, Cooking, Entertainment




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