Healthy Dog Dies After Routine Walk, Owner’s Warning Others
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) recently got an urgent call about a healthy five-year-old dog. The temperatures were hitting record highs and 729 calls came in that day alone. They then received devastating news:
“This morning we were informed a local dog died of heat stroke after being taken on a walk at 9 am when the temperature was 21 degrees (Celsius),” the RSPCA Altrincham Cheshire Branch said in a statement.
For five days straight, temperatures soared past 30 degrees Celsius (or 86 degrees Fahrenheit). In direct sun and with humidity, the heat index soared even higher.
Despite numerous warnings by the RSPCA, dog owners were still seen walking their dogs during the hottest times of the day.
“The dog was otherwise fit and healthy. Despite lots of warnings about the heat we still see dogs being walked to the shops, on the school run, or as soon as owners get in from work,” the RSPCA said.
“Yesterday the highest temperature for the day was at 4 pm but this is when most of the dogs we spotted were out and about. It does not matter if your dog is white, young, not a bull breed or ‘used to the heat’. Please be mindful of its needs.”
Public Domain Photo
Heat stroke can have devastating consequences. If temperatures rise too high and your pet cannot cool himself down, the results can be catastrophic.
Signs of Heatstroke:
staggering while walking
high body temperature
a dark or bright red tongue
sticky or dry gums
If your dog is exhibiting any of these signs or symptoms, call your veterinarian immediately.
Try to bring your dog’s temperature down slowly with cool, NOT COLD, water. Give them some water to drink and watch their breathing closely.
“We do understand the crucial nature of walking your dog, however, please bear in mind that walking in high temperatures can cause serious and irreversible damage, and in some cases death,” the RSPCA said.
Taking your dogs for walks is an important part of their routine, however, there are essential things to keep in mind during warmer months.
Besides suffering from heatstroke, dogs can also sunburn. Dogs light in color are at an increased risk. White dogs especially!
Check out, Rory! A staff writer’s rescue pup 🙂 With her white fur and pink skin, she’s at an increased risk for sunburn. In fact, she will burn after only 10 minutes in the sun! And boy is it painful!
To avoid sunburn, your dog should not be in direct sunlight for extended periods of time. You can also look into sunscreen made just for pets. Check out Epi-Pet skin treatment!
When applying sunscreen, be sure to get your dogs ears, nose and back, as well as the skin around his mouth.
You should also be careful with your dog’s paws in warmer months. You can check out our article on the 11-second paw test here!
Our rule of thumb is: If you walk outside and it’s too hot for you, then it’s too hot for your dog as well!
If routine walks are the only way for your pooch to relieve himself then consider walking him in grassy, shaded areas when the sun isn’t so strong (during early morning hours and late in the evening when the sun has set).
Quicker walks are also recommended. If your dog can relieve himself within a few minutes, then it’s time to turn around and go home. Try exercising your pup indoors. Fido will LOVE playing a game of fetch in the soothing airconditioning.
Most importantly, look for the signs of your dog in distress. Your dog has his own way of telling you when he’s not feeling well. Pay close attention!
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Reverse Sneezing In Dogs – What to do…
Does this sound familiar? Your dog suddenly starts making loud snorting sounds—over and over again, in quick succession. Do you start wondering, did they swallow something they shouldn’t have? Can they breathe?! Chances are, you’re experiencing the infamous “reverse sneeze.” Veterinarians often see dogs whose owners rushed them in for an emergency appointment after finding them standing with their elbows apart, head pulled back, and eyes bulging as they snort or gasp repeatedly. Yet for the vast majority of these dogs, a vet visit was unnecessary.
Reverse sneezing looks and sounds scary the first time you encounter it. However, it’s a fairly common and harmless respiratory event for dogs.
Read on to learn how to identify reverse sneezing, what causes it, and how to tell the difference between a harmless reverse sneeze and something else.
What is reverse sneezing?
A reverse sneeze is pretty much what it sounds like: a sneeze that happens in reverse! The above video is a good example of what it looks and sounds like.
In a regular sneeze, air is rapidly pushed out through the nose. In a reverse sneeze, air is rapidly, and noisily, pulled in through the nose. It occurs in spasms lasting anywhere from a few seconds up to a minute and sounds like snorting, snuffling, and even gagging. See the above video for an example.
Because of the sounds their dogs make while reverse sneezing, many people mistakenly think their dog is choking. However, a reverse sneeze is almost as normal and harmless as a regular sneeze.
There’s no single cause for a reverse sneeze. Like regular sneezing, it’s often triggered by an irritation or inflammation in the nose, throat, or sinuses. It often occurs when dogs wake up from a nap, or after eating, when their breathing pattern may have rapidly changed. It’s also caused by irritants in the airway—anything from dust to an inhaled hair!
Some dogs experience more frequent reverse sneezing in springtime when the air is full of pollen and other allergens. Others reverse sneeze more in the winter, when sudden temperature changes between outdoors and indoors cause the nasal passages to contract.
Another common cause of reverse sneezing is pressure on the throat and neck. A too-tight collar, or straining against the leash, can irritate the throat and lead to a reverse sneeze. That’s just one more reason to consider a harness for your dog.
Finally, some dogs reverse sneeze after exercise, or when they’re overexcited. This is particularly common among brachycephalic, or short-nosed, breeds like pugs and bulldogs. When they get worked up, they may inhale their elongated soft palates into the throat, triggering an episode of reverse sneezing.
Reverse sneezing is super-common, and it won’t hurt your dog. However, some dogs become anxious during a reverse sneezing episode, and a lengthy episode may be uncomfortable.
You can help your dog recover from a reverse sneezing episode by remaining calm yourself. If you get anxious, your dog’s anxiety will increase, too. So, stay calm, and show your dog there’s nothing to panic about.
If your dog is experiencing a particularly long episode of reverse sneezing, you may be able to ease or end the episode by:
Gently massaging your dog’s throat
Briefly covering their nostrils, which will cause them to swallow and potentially stop sneezing
Depressing their tongue with your hand to help open airways
Some vets suggest gently blowing in your dog’s face
In the vast majority of cases, there’s no need to intervene. Reverse sneezing doesn’t last long, and your dog will be perfectly normal after it stops.
When you should go to the vet
As mentioned, reverse sneezing rarely requires veterinary treatment. As soon as the sneezing episode stops, the situation is resolved. However, if episodes increase in frequency or duration, you should call the vet just in case. You should also seek treatment if your dog’s reverse sneezing is accompanied by other respiratory symptoms or if they have any unusual discharge from their nose.Occasionally, chronic reverse sneezing can be a symptom of more serious issues. These include nasal mites, foreign objects in the airway, respiratory infections, and tracheal collapse. If you’re concerned about the intensity of your dog’s reverse sneezing, take a video to show the vet. They’ll be able to determine potential causes.Most dogs experience episodes of reverse sneezing at some point in their lives. For the vast majority of dogs, it’s a common, temporary, harmless reaction with no lasting aftereffects. Of course, it still sounds unsettling to our human ears! But now that you know what reverse sneezing is, you’ll be less likely to make an unnecessary vet visit.