This month´s article, in honour of the current height of the thin mercury line, we will discuss HEAT...
Firstly, dogs die in hot cars. Yes, this truism is…true. Dogs need to evaporate water across their mucus membranes in order to dissipate body heat. We lose heat in a similar, evaporative, way. This occurs across all of our body surface via sweat glands. And to state the obvious, our body surface area is much bigger than the dog´s tongue. In my case, my evaporative potential has improved drastically over the last 18 months!
So, with hotter summer temperatures be mindful when having your dog in the car, or other enclosed spaces. Make sure there is always a flow through of fresh air. Shady places are vastly better than in direct sunlight.
Given shady, breezy places, dogs will regulate their heat, if they are panting, that means they are currently doing just that. If they are flat out, it means that this mechanism has been overwhelmed and they are, indeed, dying. Something you should call your vet about…
Tarmacadam (original word for Tar) on roads will melt in temperatures over 40 degrees too. We regularly see tar melted onto feet and pads. These can cause 2nddegree burns and long courses of bandage changes to get back to normal again…something to be mindful of with cats as well as dogs.
If you´ve just come back from living under a rock, let me tell you that these breeds are super popular at the moment, mainly in the form of Pugs and French Bulldogs. There is an ongoing ethical debate about these breeds, as they cannot breathe properly at anytime of the day or night. That noise that owners think is so cute is the noise of the dog struggling to oxygenate properly.
At the Lagos Vet Clinic we do airway surgery on brachycephalic breeds, by means of shortening the soft palate, excising laryngeal saccules and widening stenotic airways. These procedures improve the passage of air to and from the lungs, thereby improving their quality of life (day and night).
We also operate on older dogs who have been diagnosed with laryngeal paralysis (usually Labrador retrievers). Contact us for more information.
Dip in the sea, take a refresher or two and enjoy the summer… and make sure your furry mates enjoy it too! Chin chin.
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