It’s HOT Out there

IMG_0608Central Oregon Summer Heat Is Here.  It can come with a variety of potentially life threatening consequences for our dogs, some of which seem obvious, but others are more insidious. Certainly, most people understand that cars and pavement are primary culprits of summertime heat related illness, injury or death. But there are many other heat/summer related illness which can include:

  • Exercise induced heat exhaustion – occurs when dogs exceed their ability to cool themselves.
  • Hot hiking trails/lava rock – Even if you start in the morning, the ground can quickly. heat up during the summer season. Pack boots for your dog.
  • Toxicity
    • Water – common for dogs that love to chase water from a hose.
    • Plant/Mushroom – check your yard regularly.
    • Blue Green Algae – becoming more and more common in our surrounding lakes and reservoirs.
  • Snake and insect/spider bites or stings
  • Drowning – swimming, especially in rivers or even irrigation canals, can be treacherous. A life jacket can save your dog’s life.
  • GI obstruction – Bones, corn on the cob, grass – yes if eaten in large quantities can cause a bowel obstruction.
  • Cheat grass awns (foxtail) – evil things can work their way into feet, ears, eyes, upper respiratory tract, lungs and urinary tract.
  • Parasite infestation – warm weather means more parasites such as heartworm and giardia.
  • Communicable infectious disease – More outdoor events = more dogs = more chance of parvovirus, kennel cough or other transmissible disease. Avoid letting your dog meet/greet strange dogs and avoid communal watering holes.
  • Trauma – dogs are spending more time outside = more play, more off leash activity = more chance of orthopedic injury, dog fights or  being hit by a vehicle.

Have questions about any of these?  Contact your veterinarian for a more detailed description of symptoms and treatments. Most can be prevented with good monitoring and care.

Happy Summer!

Playing in sprinklers if fun for many dogs. However, be sure your dog does not ingest too much water in order to avoid water intoxication.