It's only the beginning of May and we have already experienced several 90 degree-plus days. So before you take your "best friend" along while you run errands and leave him locked inside your car for even just a few minutes, read this warning. It just might save his life.
When the summer outside temperature is this, the temperature inside cars can reach the second number:
75 degrees ... 118 degrees
77 degrees ... 123 degrees
81 degrees ... 138 degrees
90 degrees ... 143 degrees
94 degrees ... 145 degrees
The normal body temperature for a dog is 101.5 to 102 degrees, with cell damage occurring at body temperatures above 108 degrees and control of body temperature regulation essentially lost.
Severe hyperthermia (abnormally elevated body temperature) results in kidney and liver failure, blood-clotting disorder, metabolic abnormalities, gastrointestinal failure, depressed blood oxygen levels, destruction of skeletal muscle cells, brain dysfunction and heart failure.
In the event of overheating, cooling can be started by wetting the surface of the dog with cool (but not iced!) water, and using a fan to keep air moving over the body surface.
But it is important to understand that hyperthermia is an emergency, and a heatstroke victim must receive veterinary attention as quickly as possible!
Taking your dog along on a trip? Carry:
* Plenty of fresh, cool water
* A towel that can be soaked with water
* A battery-operated pet fan
* A Kool collar that can be frozen or filled with ice (Frank never leaves the house on a hot day without his.)
* A cooling jacket.
-- Sherry Davis is a dog trainer/owner of CSI 4 K9s. Email her at csi4k9s @yahoo.com. These are her opinions, not necessarily The Californian's.