Vancouver veterinary hospital says it treats two dogs for severe heat stroke

VANCOUVER – A Vancouver vet is warning pet parents about the effects of heat on pets as he treats two dogs for severe heat stroke.

Critical care veterinarian Dr. Carsten Bandt of Canada West Veterinary Specialists says that unlike humans, dogs have a limited ability to sweat. As a result, even a short time in a hot environment can lead to fatal heat stroke.

“Heat stroke can lead to bleeding, severe hemorrhagic diarrhea, organ failure and death,” he said in a statement.

On Saturday morning, Bandt’s team issued a press release saying the hospital is currently treating two dogs with “severe heatstroke”.

“If it’s too hot for you or the sidewalk is too hot to touch for a few minutes, it will also be too hot for your dog,” Bandt said.

“Animals depend on owners for their safety and now is the time to consider the impact of extreme heat and take the proper precautions.”

Bandt said heat stress occurs quickly. Here is a list of clinic guidelines and tips.

  • Animals should never be left in cars, even for a few minutes.

  • Dogs should not be tethered in the sun, should not be walked during the hottest part of the day, and should not be walked on hot pavement.

  • Give dogs less exercise in general during a heat wave.

  • Take the dogs out for walks and games in the early morning or evening when the temperature is cooler.

  • If it’s cooler inside your home than it is outside, keep dogs inside.

  • Make sure the dogs are not confined to an area where it could be too hot.

  • Be aware that some dogs like to lie in the sun, even though they shouldn’t, and then gasp excessively.

  • Be aware that many dogs do not have the “common sense” to play in the shade instead of the sun.

  • Older, large breed dogs are particularly vulnerable to heatstroke – look for noisy breathing or a change in the sound of their barking.

  • Some small breed dogs may develop an “excited or warm honking cough,” which may be a sign of a collapsed trachea.

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