The Hidden Danger Of Grass Seeds & Plant Awns

Grass Seeds and Plant Awns

At this time of year at Castle Vets we start to see a lot of patients (particularly dogs), with grass seeds and plant awns embedded in various parts of the body. This article will hopefully help raise awareness on this extremely painful problem.

During the warmer summer months grasses and plants start to dry out and their barbed seeds begin to scatter. These can cause major problems for our dogs (and occasionally other pets such as cats), who often get these seeds caught in their paws, nostrils, ears, eyes and skin. Continue reading

Warm Weather Pet Care

summer

With summer in full swing most of us are spending more time outdoors enjoying the warm weather (when it occurs!) Your pets will hopefully be enjoying the weather too but there are a few things you can do to ensure they stay comfortable and safe in the summer months.

How To Keep Your Pet Cool On Warm Days

  • Provide fresh drinking water at all times. It is really important to check water bowls and bottles frequently and freshen the water as necessary. If you are taking your dog out in hot weather it is a good idea to take water and a bowl with you.
  • Provide access to a shaded area and make sure your pet can get out of the sun if he or she wants to, watch out for pets who may be sun-worshipers and try to encourage them into the shade if possible. Make sure rabbit hutches and runs are moved to shaded areas too. If it is too hot outside bring your pets inside.
  • Use pet-friendly sun cream on your pet to prevent sunburn. This is especially important for pets with white ears, pink noses and/or hairless tummies.
  • Provide cooling places and objects such as a wet towel on 0729the ground for dogs to lie on or access to nice cool kitchen tiles. You can freeze water in plastic bottles or ice packs and wrap these in a towel then place near to your pet – rabbits and dogs love lying on or against these in the hot weather (just make sure the icy surface is not directly next to their skin. (Make sure your pet is not going to chew these objects though – especially ice packs as they may contain chemicals) You can also use old ceramic tiles that have been chilled for small animals to lie on.
  • Use a fan to cool and move the air, but make sure your pet can get out of the air flow, cannot touch the fan and cannot chew the electrical cable.
  • Good Ventilation and air flow is very important for outside hutches and pens as well as indoor pet cages.
  • Think about the best times for exercising dogs. Early in the morning and later in the evening will often be slightly cooler. A good rule of thumb is if the pavement is too hot for you to touch your wrist to for more than a half a minute, it is too hot for your dog’s paws.
  • Move cages containing indoor pets away from windows and/or direct sunlight, these can soon heat up to unbearable temperatures.
  • Avoid long journeys in cars if possible and definitely do not leave your pet in a parked car, caravan or conservatory (see our heatstroke article)
  • Use water to help your pet cool down. Some dogs like to play in paddling pools, but they should always be supervised and heavy exercise should be avoided during the hottest part of the day. Some pets like a gentle spray with some water to help keep them cool but if your pet does not like it, don’t do it.
  • Check Habitat Temperatures Carefully For tropical fish tanks and reptile vivariums as these may get too hot if the external temperature rises.
  • Don’t forget the wildlife. Small, shallow bowls of water dotted around your garden will help out greatly.
  • Watch your pet for signs of heatstroke. This can happen to any species of pet, but is more common in animals that are overweight, senior, hyperactive even in hot weather, short nosed breeds, or animals that have existing health problems with their heart or lungs. Symptoms of heatstroke can include rapid or frantic panting, excessive thirst, anxious behaviour, rapid heart/pulse rate, dizziness and/or disorientation, collapse. See our article on Heatstroke for more information 
white cat

Cats with white ears and/or pink noses can be susceptible to sunburn and subsequently skin cancer

Summer Hazards

Barbecues and Parties

These will be on the agenda for a lot of households but, while they are fun for us, they are a scavenging hazard for ourpets! In the summer months veterinary practices often see a lot of pets with tummy upsets or burns after scavenging food, as well as pets that need operations to remove things like corn cobs, bones and wooden meat skewers that have been eaten and got stuck in the stomach or intestines.

If you have a nervous pet who becomes  distressed when you have lots of visitors, make sure he or she has a room they can retreat to where they will be undisturbed.

Flystrike

This is another common summer problem. It occurs when a fly lays its eggs on an animal and the maggots that hatch eat the flesh of the animal. Flystrike mainly affects rabbits, but other pets including dogs and cats can and do get affected.  The flies are attracted to soiled bottoms, poo and wounds, so make sure you check your pet daily and keep hutches, cages and bottoms clean. Flystrike is a veterinary emergency, so if you suspect your pet has flystrike contact your vet quickly.

Fly

Grass Seeds and Plant Awns

These can be a real nuisance at this time of year and we  see a lot of patients (particularly dogs), with grass seeds and plant awns embedded in various parts of their bodies. Check your pet’s coat daily and remove any seeds or awns that you find. (You can read more in our Grass Seed article)

If you have any questions regarding your pet’s care or would like any advice then please contact the practice on 01189 574488 or through our website

Heatstroke in dogs

dog-sunglasses

Summer is here (so they say) and the weather is definitely starting to warm up (hooray!). Most of us will be outside in the hot weather, soaking up the sun or enjoying walks and trips with the family and our dogs. However, the heat can pose serious risks to your dog’s health if precautions are not taken to keep them cool. Heat stroke is a serious and life threatening condition that can affect dogs of any age, breed and fitness level. Fortunately, heatstroke is usually preventable if you take precautions in the warm weather.

How dogs get heatstroke

The normal body temperature of a dog is approximately 38.5ºC. (101.3ºF)

In warm weather dogs get rid of excess heat by panting, which exchanges the warmer air in the body for the cooler air from the environment. (Dogs don’t sweat like humans and although they can release some moisture through the pads in their feet and their nose, it is not enough to cool them down). When the environmental temperature reaches 29ºC or higher it becomes more and more difficult for the dog to cool down. Exercising during hot weather, even just a short walk, can increase panting and they will start to overheat. Once a dog’s temperature rises above 41ºC heatstroke is the result and damage to the body’s cellular system, nervous system and organs such as the brain, heart and liver may become irreversible .

Common causes of heatstroke

  • Being left in a vehicle on a warm day– Even if the day is overcast or you park in the shade, it can take as little as 10 minutes for the temperature in a vehicle to reach 39ºC, in 30 to 60 minutes it can reach 47ºC!
  • Being left in a conservatory or caravan (this will have the same effect as being left in a vehicle)
  • Being confined to an area with no shade and/or water in hot weather
  • Excessive exercise in hot weather
  • Overweight and short nosed dog breeds are more susceptible to heatstroke because they cannot cool down as effectively.

Heat Stroke Temperature Chart Castle Vets

Common Signs Of Heatstroke

  • Rapid or frantic panting
  • Panting with the tongue as extended as possible
  • Excessive thirst
  • Anxious behaviour
  • Rapid heart/pulse rate
  • Thick saliva
  • Very red (dark) gums
  • Dry or sticky gums
  • Dizziness and/or disorientation
  • Vomiting and diarrhoea
  • Collapse
  • Convulsions
Normal panting vs heatstroke

The dog on the left is panting normally and is nice and relaxed. The dog on the right is becoming too warm; his mouth is wide, his tongue is extended and he is starting to salivate. His eyes and face are a little pinched and his ears are flat. In a dog with heat stroke these features would be much more exaggerated, but hopefully this picture will give you a good idea of what to look out for.

What you can do to prevent heatstroke

  • NEVER leave your dog alone in the car on a warm day. Temperatures can soar in just a few minutes (after 5 minutes of the air conditioning being turned off, the inside temperature of the car will match the environmental temperature and start getting warmer). Open windows, parking in the shade or using sun shields will not keep your car cool enough. (plus your dog could be stolen!)
  • If you have to take your dog on a car journey, make sure to keep them cool and have plenty of fresh water available at all times.
  • Don’t take your dog out in the middle of the day when it is hottest, try to exercise your dog early morning and late evening when it is cooler.
  • Don’t allow your dog to over exert itself in the warm weather and try to keep energetic activities to a minimum during the hottest parts of the day.
  • If your dog likes to lie out in the garden, make sure you provide shade, keep the water bowl full and supervise at all times so you can see if they are getting to hot.
  • Regular grooming to remove excessive hair and clipping of longer coated breeds will help keep them cool.
  • If your dog enjoys water you could play with the sprinkler, hose , or even fill the paddling pool to keep him or her cool. For those that aren’t keen on water you could soak a bath towel in cold water and put this on the ground for them to lie on.
  • Take water and a bowl with you for your dog if you are going to be out for longer than 30 minutes in hot weather.
  • Keep a very close eye on your dog if it is a short nosed breed (Boxer, Pug, Shih Tzu, Bulldog etc), overweight or suffers with a heart condition as these dogs are more likely to overheat in warm weather.
  • Keep your dog cool

What to do if your dog shows symptoms of heatstroke

  1. Move him or her to a cool area (preferably with air conditioning or a fan to cool them off)heat-stroke
  2. Assess your dog’s condition:

Can he/she stand? Is he/she panting normally?
If yes, keep inside and offer water little and often and call the veterinary practice for advice.

If your dog is showing any of the following signs

  • panting excessively?300_651942
  • Staggering/collapsing when trying to move?
  • Have dark red gums?
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhoea?
  • Have a rapid heart/pulse rate?
  • Unable to stand up?
  • Disorientated or out of sorts?
  • Unresponsive to voice, touch or sight?
  • Having convulsions?
  • Completely collapsed or unconscious?

Call the vet immediately and get your dog to the veterinary practice as quickly as possible. You can begin the cooling process by soaking his/her body with cool (not cold) water. Wet towels that have been soaked in water are great for this.

If you are concerned that your dog may have heatstroke and want advice please contact Castle Vets on 0118 9574488 or Vets Now on 0118 959 4007 if it is an emergency outside our normal working hours.

rspca dogs in cars

Summertime Pet Care, Health Checks and Holidays

My_guinea_pig_sunbathing_by_Solofanchan

With summer in full swing most of us are spending more time outdoors enjoying the warm weather. Your pets will hopefully be enjoying the weather too but there are a few things you can do to ensure they stay comfortable and safe in the summer months.

To help keep your pet cool
  • Provide fresh water at all times. It is really important to check water bowls and bottles frequently and freshen the water as necessary. If you are taking your dog out in hot weather it is a good idea to take water and a bowl with you
  • Provide access to a shaded area and make sure your pet can get out of the sun if he or she wants too
  • Move cages and runs away from windows and/or direct sunlight
  • Place a wet towel on the ground for them to lie on if there are no cool tiles available
  • Use a fan but make sure your pet can get out of the air flow and can’t chew the cable
  • Exercise dogs early in the morning and late in the evening when it is slightly cooler
  • Pets with white ears and pink noses can suffer with sunburn so apply a pet sun block to these areas
  • Avoid long journeys in cars if possible and definitely do not leave your pet in a parked car (see our heatstroke article)
  • Some dogs like to play in paddling pools, but they should always be supervised
Summertime Hazards

Barbecues are on the agenda for a lot of households, but while they are fin for us they are a scavenging hazard for pets! In the summer months veterinary practices often see a lot of pets with tummy upsets or burns after scavenging food, as well as pets that need operations to remove things like corn cobs, bones and wooden meat skewers that have been eaten and got stuck in the stomach or intestines.

If you have a nervous pet who becomes  distressed when you have lots of visitors, make sure he or she has a room they can retreat to where they will be undisturbed.

Flystrike is another summer problem; it occurs when a fly lays its eggs on an animal and the maggots that hatch eat the flesh of the animal. Flystrike mainly affects rabbits, but other pets can and do get affected too.  The flies are attracted to soiled bottoms, poo and wounds, so make sure you check your pet daily and keep hutches, cages and bottoms clean. Flystrike is a veterinary emergency, so if you suspect your pet has flystrike contact your vet quickly.

Grass Seeds and Plant Awns can be a real nuisance at this time of year and we  see a lot of patients (particularly dogs), with grass seeds and plant awns embedded in various parts of their bodies. Check your pet’s coat daily and remove any seeds or awns that you find. (You can read more in our Grass Seed article

Summer dangers
Holidays and Pets

With the summer holidays upon us once again, you may already have your holiday arranged, but are your pets ready for that “restful” break you are planning? We all love our holidays because they are a break from our normal daily routines, but it can be a very stressful time for our pets who may find a change to their normal routine very unsettling and this may present itself as behavioural changes and a loss of appetite.

Your pet will deal with their change in routine far better if they are fit and healthy. A veterinary check beforehand can be helpful in spotting any problems that may arise whilst you are away, it is also a great idea to let your veterinary practice know that you will be on holiday in case they need to see your pet in your absence or discuss your pets clinical notes with another vet. If your pet needs to take regular medication you will need to make sure that you have enough to last.

Kennels and Catteries

If your pet will be staying at a kennel or cattery, make sure that you arrange to visit it beforehand; You should be able to inspect it for cleanliness and see how happy the other boarders are. You will also be able to discuss the individual care your pet will receive and what their daily routine will be.

Many pets don’t mind going into kennels and there has been recent research that suggests some dogs find it really exciting. Some pets, however, really do not like the extreme change and sometimes noisy environment of a boarding kennel or cattery and can be very distressed by the whole experience.  Before you leave, make sure your pet’s vaccinations are up to date as they will not be allowed to stay in kennels if they are not, it is also a good idea to treat your pet for fleas before they go in to kennels.

Kennels and cattery

Pet Sitters

Some pets cope much better if they are looked after in their home environment and many companies now offer pet sitting services. Someone will either pop in to see your pet once or twice daily or move into your home until you get back to provide 24 hour care. these services are becoming more and more popular with pet owners and are a great alternative to the stressful kennel environment.

Dog sitters

Another option for dogs is that they go and stay in someone’s home until you get back from your holiday. After a chat with you about your dog’s requirements and favourite things a host or carer takes your dog into their home for the duration of your holiday.

Pet Sitter

Whichever type of care your choose for your pet, make sure that you let your veterinary practice know how long you will be away for and that you give permission for someone else to authorise treatment for your pet in case they cannot get hold of you in an emergency.

Taking your pet with you 

If you are lucky enough to be taking your pet on holiday, remember to take food, toys, bedding and insurance details with you. Ensure your dog or cat  is wearing an id tag with your contact details on it at all times, in case he or she gets lost,(or update your pet’s id chip details to your holiday address and contact number. It is also a very good idea to know where the local veterinary practice is and their phone number in case of emergencies.

Dog owners should make sure that they know of any local rules and regulations regarding where and how dogs can be walked – this is especially important on beaches and protected areas.

Remember not to leave your pet alone in a caravan, especially on a hot and sunny day as they will get far too hot.

250px-QuickCollarNeck_wb

For more advice or an appointment please contact Castle Vets on 0118 9574488 or visit our website

Heat Stroke In Dogs

dog-sunglasses

Summer is finally here and the weather is getting much warmer (hooray!). Most of us will be planning to be outside in the hot weather, soaking up the sun or enjoying walks and trips with the family and our dogs. However, the heat can pose serious risks to your dog’s health if precautions are not taken to keep them cool. Heat stroke is a serious and life threatening condition that can affect dogs of any age, breed and fitness level. Fortunately, heatstroke is usually preventable if you take precautions in the warm weather.

How dogs get heatstroke

The normal body temperature of a dog is approximately 38.5ºC.

In warm weather dogs get rid of excess heat by panting, which exchanges the warmer air in the body for the cooler air from the environment. (Dogs don’t sweat like humans, although they can release some moisture through the pads in their feet and their nose it is not enough to cool them down). When the environmental temperature reaches 29ºC or higher it becomes more and more difficult for the dog to cool down. Exercising during hot weather, even just a short walk, can increase panting and they will start to overheat. Once a dog’s temperature rises above 41ºC heatstroke is the result and damage to the body’s cellular system, nervous system and organs such as the brain, heart and liver may become irreversible .

Common causes of heatstroke

  • Being left in a vehicle on a warm day– Even if the day is overcast or you park in the shade, it can take 10 minutes for the temperature in a vehicle to reach 39ºC, in 30 to 60 minutes it can reach 47ºC!
  • Being left in a conservatory or caravan (this will have the same effect as being left in a vehicle)
  • Being confined to an area with no shade and/or water in hot weather
  • Excessive exercise in hot weather
  • Overweight and short nosed dog breeds are more susceptible to heatstroke because they cannot cool down as effectively.

Heat Stroke Temperature Chart Castle Vets

Common Signs Of Heatstroke

32081_418237401544_4674333_n

  • Rapid or frantic panting
  • Excessive thirst
  • Anxious behaviour
  • Rapid heart/pulse rate
  • Thick saliva
  • Very red (dark) gums
  • Dry or sticky gums
  • Dizziness and/or disorientation
  • Vomiting and diarrhoea
  • Collapse
  • Convulsions

What you can do to prevent heatstroke

  • NEVER leave your dog alone in the car on a warm day. Temperatures can soar in just a few minutes (after 5 minutes of the air conditioning being turned off, the inside temperature of the car will match the environmental temperature and start getting warmer). Open windows, parking in the shade or using sun shields will not keep your car cool enough.
  • If you have to take your dog on a car journey, make sure to keep them cool and have plenty of fresh water available at all times.
  • Don’t take your dog out in the middle of the day when it is hottest, try to exercise your dog early morning and late evening when it is cooler.
  • Don’t allow your dog to over exert itself in the warm weather and try to keep energetic activities to a minimum during the hottest parts of the day.
  • If your dog likes to lie out in the garden, make sure you provide shade, keep the water bowl full and supervise at all times so you can see if they are getting to hot.
  • Regular grooming to remove excessive hair and clipping of longer coated breeds will help keep them cool.
  • If your dog enjoys water you could play with the sprinkler, hose , or even fill the paddling pool to keep him or her cool. For those that aren’t keen on water you could soak a bath towel in cold water and put this on the ground for them to lie on.
  • Take water and a bowl with you for your dog if you are going to be out for longer than 30 minutes in hot weather.
  • Keep a very close eye on your dog if it is a short nosed breed (Boxer, Pug, Shih Tzu, Bulldog etc), overweight or suffers with a heart condition as these dogs are more likely to overheat in warm weather.
  • Keep your dog cool

What to do if your dog shows symptoms of heatstroke

  1. Move him or her to a cool area (preferably with air conditioning or a fan to cool them off)heat-stroke
  2. Assess your dog’s condition:

Can he/she stand?
Is he/she panting normally?
If yes, keep inside and offer water little and often and call the veterinary practice for advice.

If your dog is showing any of the following signs

  • panting excessively?300_651942
  • Staggering/collapsing when trying to move?
  • Have dark red gums?
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhoea?
  • Have a rapid heart/pulse rate?
  • Unable to stand up?
  • Disorientated or out of sorts?
  • Unresponsive to voice, touch or sight?
  • Having convulsions?
  • Completely collapsed or unconscious?

Call the vet immediately and get your dog to the veterinary practice as quickly as possible. You can begin the cooling process by soaking his/her body with cool (not cold) water. Wet towels that have been soaked in water are great for this.

If you are concerned that your dog may have heatstroke and want advice please contact Castle Vets on 0118 9574488 or Vets Now on 0118 959 4007 if it is an emergency outside our normal working hours.

rspca dogs in cars

 

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The Dangers Of Grass Seeds And Plant Awns

Image

Summer is finally here and many of us are taking our dogs for lovely long walks through fields and woods. But at this time of year at Castle Vets we start to see a lot of patients (particularly dogs), with grass seeds and plant awns embedded in various parts of the body. This article will hopefully help raise awareness on this extremely painful problem.

During hot summery conditions grasses and plants start to dry out and their barbed seeds begin to scatter. These can cause major problems for our dogs (and occasionally other pets), who often get these seeds caught in their paws, nostrils, ears, eyes and skin. The problem is that these seeds have ‘one-way’ barbs that allow the seed to work its way through the fur, in one direction only, and then into the skin of the animal. If they are not found and removed quickly, these seeds have been known to work their way through the skin and end up causing serious problems as they migrate further into the body.

Image

Grass seed and plant awns cause serious problems for pets at this time of year

The most common places we see grass seeds or plant awns

Paws – The grass seed gets hooked into the fur, especially in the groves between the toes on top of the paw and the between the pads beneath the paw, and then starts making its way toward the skin. It can then penetrate the skin and burrow deeper into the tissue leaving a tract (narrow tunnel) behind. The first sign of this is usually persistent licking and/or nibbling between the toes or of the whole paw because the grass seed causes pain, discomfort, swelling, inflammation, lameness and infection.

Ears – Grass seeds that get caught in the ear hair can soon make their way down the ear canal and end up next to the very delicate ear drum. The signs of this are usually pawing of the ear, head shaking, rubbing the head/ear on the ground and also inflammation (redness) of the ear flap. If left the grass seed may penetrate the ear drum and cause worse problems,

Nose – Grass seeds are sometimes inhaled by the animal and then get lodged in the nasal passage. The signs of this are usually sneezing or snorting, pawing at the nose and some nasal discharge.

Other less common places can include the eyes where the seed causes irritation to the surrounding area or even penetrates the eye itself. Or the mouth where the seeds can get lodged in the gums or throat causing irritation, pain and discomfort. From here the seed could travel down into the body causing abscesses and damage to internal organs.

Image

Seeds and awns in the paw, ear and nose

Removal of grass seeds and plant awns

If you are lucky you may find the seed as it is just starting to penetrate the skin. These can usually be pulled out gently with some tweezers and the wound can be bathed and treated with an antiseptic solution.

Once a grass seed has penetrated the skin the process becomes much more difficult. Because they are vegetable matter, grass seeds and awns will not show up on an X-ray and can be very difficult for the vet to locate; it is often like searching for the proverbial needle in a haystack!.
In most cases the patient will need a heavy sedation or a general anaesthetic before the vet can remove the seed because of the pain and inflammation caused.

When removing seeds from the ear canal the vet uses the otoscope to look down the ear canal and a pair of sterile crocodile forceps (pictured), which are narrow and long and have a grasping mechanism that can be used to remove the seed once it has been located.

For seeds in the paws and skin, the vet will again use the crocodile forceps by inserting them into the tract left by the seed as it entered the skin, unfortunately because the seed cannot be seen this is often a very frustrating procedure for the vet, and may require several attempts with several anaesthetics for the pet.

Image

Crocodile forceps

Prevention is better than cure!

  • Be particularly vigilant at checking your pet’s coat for grass seeds, plant seeds and burs that may become entangled in the hair.
  • Daily grooming will help remove any attached seeds and help you check for any suspicious looking areas or wounds.
  • Keep hair around the feet, foot pads and ears trimmed short if possible, as this will help prevent grass seeds attaching.
  • Avoid walking in areas with long grasses during this time of year.
  • Don’t allow your dog to chew grasses that have seed heads on them.
  • If your pet is showing any signs of discomfort, such as licking, lameness, head shaking, excessive sneezing, coughing etc. or if you find a wound that you suspect could be from a seed take them to the vet as soon as possible. The quicker we can remove the seed, the less damage it will do.

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Heatstroke

Image

Summer is finally here and the weather is getting much warmer (hooray!). Most of us will be planning to be outside in the hot weather, soaking up the sun or enjoying walks and trips with the family and our dogs. However, the heat can pose serious risks to your dog’s health if precautions are not taken to keep them cool. Heat stroke is a serious and life threatening condition that can affect dogs of any age, breed and fitness level. Fortunately, heatstroke is usually preventable if you take precautions in the warm weather.

How dogs get heatstroke

The normal body temperature of a dog is approximately 38.5ºC.

In warm weather dogs get rid of excess heat by panting, which exchanges the warmer air in the body for the cooler air from the environment. (Dogs don’t sweat like humans, although they can release some moisture through the pads in their feet and their nose it is not enough to cool them down). When the environmental temperature reaches 29ºC or higher it becomes more and more difficult for the dog to cool down. Exercising during hot weather, even just a short walk, can increase panting and they will start to overheat. Once a dog’s temperature rises above 41ºC heatstroke is the result and damage to the body’s cellular system, nervous system and organs such as the brain, heart and liver may become irreversible .

Common causes of heatstroke

  • Being left in the car – On a sunny day (it doesn’t even have to be particularly hot), it can take 10 minutes for the temperature in a car to reach 39ºC, in 30 to 60 minutes it can reach 47ºC!
  • Being left in a conservatory or caravan (this will have the same effect as being left in a car)
  • Being confined to an area with no shade and/or water in hot weather
  • Excessive exercise in hot weather
  • Overweight and short nosed dog breeds are more susceptible to heatstroke because they cannot cool down as effectively.

32081_418237401544_4674333_n

Common Signs Of Heatstroke

  • Rapid or frantic panting300_651942
  • Excessive thirst
  • Anxious behaviour
  • Rapid heart/pulse rate
  • Thick saliva
  • Very red (dark) gums
  • Dry or sticky gums
  • Dizziness and/or disorientation
  • Vomiting and diarrhoea
  • Collapse
  • Convulsions

What you can do to prevent heatstroke

  • NEVER leave your dog alone in the car on a warm day. Temperatures can soar in just a few minutes (after 5 minutes of the air conditioning being turned off, the inside temperature of the car will match the environmental temperature and start getting warmer). Open windows and sun shields will not keep your car cool enough.
  • If you have to take your dog on a car journey, make sure to keep them cool and have plenty of fresh water available at all times.
  • Don’t take your dog out in the middle of the day when it is hottest, try to exercise your dog early morning and late evening when it is cooler.
  • Don’t allow your dog to over exert itself in the warm weather and try to keep energetic activities to a minimum during the hottest parts of the day.
  • If your dog likes to lie out in the garden, make sure you provide shade, keep the water bowl full and supervise at all times so you can see if they are getting to hot.
  • Regular grooming to remove excessive hair and clipping of longer coated breeds will help keep them cool.
  • If your dog enjoys water you could play with the sprinkler, hose , or even fill the paddling pool to keep him or her cool. For those that aren’t keen on water you could soak a bath towel in cold water and put this on the ground for them to lie on.
  • Take water and a bowl with you for your dog if you are going to be out for longer than 30 minutes in hot weather.
  • Keep a very close eye on your dog if it is a short nosed breed (Boxer, Pug, Shih Tzu, Bulldog etc), overweight or suffers with a heart condition as these dogs are more likely to overheat in warm weather.

Keeping your dog cool

What to do if your dog shows symptoms of heatstroke

Move him or her to a cool area (preferably with air conditioning or a fan to cool them off)heat-stroke

Assess your dog’s condition:

  • Can he/she stand?
  • Is he/she panting normally?

If yes, keep inside and offer water little and often and call the veterinary practice for advice.

  • Is he/she panting excessively?
  • Staggering/collapsing when trying to move?
  • Have dark red gums?
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhoea?
  • Have a rapid heart/pulse rate?
  • Unable to stand up?
  • Disorientated or out of sorts?
  • Unresponsive to voice, touch or sight?
  • Having convulsions?
  • Completely collapsed or unconscious?

If yes to any of the above call the vet immediately and get your dog to the veterinary practice as quickly as possible. You can begin the cooling process by soaking his/her body with cool (not cold) water. Wet towels that have been soaked in water are great for this.

If you are concerned that your dog may have heatstroke and want advice please contact Castle Vets on 0118 9574488 or  Vets Now on  0118 959 4007 if it is an emergency outside our normal working hours.

rspca dogs in cars