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Animals In Print
The On-Line Newsletter

From 10 August 2006 Issue

WATCH OUT FOR FOUR-LEGGED FRIENDS
Connie Bloom

With sweat glands only on their noses and pads, dogs are more susceptible to overheating than people are.
An overheated dog can suffer brain and organ damage in 15 minutes. Short-nosed breeds are even more vulnerable.

Signs of heat stress are glazed eyes, rapid heartbeat, restlessness, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever, dizziness, lack of coordination, profuse salivation, vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue, labored breathing, panting, pale gums and/or unresponsiveness.

If your dogs show signs of heatstroke, cool them down with cool water rather than the sudden shock of ice, and see a vet.

Some tips+ Hydrate. Dogs cool off by panting and drinking water. Keep their water cool with ice. Toss out ice cubes to chew.

+ Drape hot dogs in a wet towel, fill a kiddie pool or hose them off.

+ Don't shave double-coated dogs (dogs with an undercoat, like German shepherds, collies, huskies, Samoyeds). Their fur may look hot, but it gives protection from heat and sunburn.

+ Walk your dogs in the morning. Try not to trot them in and out of air conditioning.

+ Keep them off asphalt and other hot surfaces. Instead, walk on grass or dirt.

+ Don't take dogs in the car, even if your pooch would love the ride. It's too hot.

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