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Summertime safety tips for pet owners

Summer is a great time for being outdoors with our pets.  Whether you are enjoying the sunshine or the water, Thomas Dock, Veterinary Journalist & Practice Manager with Noah’s Animal Hospitals, shares a few quick tips to keep your favorite canine companion safe!

  • Watch the time in the sun! Heat stroke is a very real issue for our dogs.  Many of our playful friends don’t know how to say “enough” when they are outdoors and enjoying themselves.  This could lead to higher than normal body temperatures and the potential for heat stroke

    1. Short-faced breeds and older pets are at higher risk.
    2. Watch for pets that struggle to get up and move to cooler locations, excessive salivation that appears ropy or extremely bright red gums.
    3. If your pet is in distress, move him or her to an air conditioned environment. Consider using a fan to blow cool air on to the pet until you can get to a veterinarian.
    4. Do NOT use ice!
  • Hot asphalt blisters and burns
    1. Watch for “dancing” behavior, look for blisters on paw pads.
  • Blue-green algae
    1. Caused by cyanobacteria toxins
    2. Impossible to tell if algae bloom is producing toxins
    3. Can be quickly fatal, need immediate veterinary care
    4. Signs include vomiting, diarrhea, history of swimming, seizures, pale mucous membranes, disorientation
  • Swimming
    1. Not all dogs are good swimmers. Consider a life vest for dogs if taking your pet on a boat.
  • Sunburn…although it sounds far-fetched, some dogs will get sunburned if they are outside too long.

    1. White, short haired breeds are at higher risk
    2. Sunburn occurs in lightly haired areas, such as the groin, top of head and muzzle
    3. Epi-Pet sunscreen is available for dogs and horses, not cats (30-45 spf equivalent)
  • Trauma
    1. High-rise syndrome
      1. Cats falling from high rise apartments in cities as windows are left open
      2. Greater risk for more severe injury from shorter distances (1- 3 stories) vs. longer distances. 90% survival rate.
    2. Hit by car
      1. Nicer weather, more time outside, possible escapes from backyard

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