Wednesday, June 9, 2004
Protecting Your Pet: Keeping Cool
Just five short minutes in the summer sun can be a long time for animals. Heat stroke kills thousands of dogs and cats every year. Health Specialist Marilyn Mitzel shows us how to help them beat the heat in protecting your pets.
(WSVN) -- Hot fun can rapidly turn tragic in the summer for our four legged friends.
Jeremy Gates, Kody's dad: "At the dog park he started acting a little strange a little sluggish."
Kody was having a heat stroke.
Jeremy: "It didn't even occur to us."
Dr. Steven Paul from Wiles Road Animal Hospital: Heat stroke can happen in minutes.
Here's the problem.
Dogs and cats don't have sweat glands like we do to help them cool off.
They pant to get rid of heat - and it doesn't work very well.
Dr. Paul: "Any pet is susceptible -- older animals or pets with heart or respiratory conditions are much more suseptible."
So are dark-haired -overweight and pets with short noses.
The warning signs!
Dr. Steven Paul: "Their tongue may actually get bigger, they're really panting and they're really stressed out."
Weakness - coordination problems - vomiting - gums turning blue-gray - collapsing and losing consciousness may also occur.
The hopeful news.
Dr. Paul: "It's a totally reversible condition if caught early enough."
Get them out of the sun as soon as possible.
Cool them down with water - but not too cold.
Dr. Paul: "Ice water can make it more difficult for him to dicipate the heat."
Get to the vet.
Fortunately - Kody's doing better.
Jeremy: "He's not out of the woods yet but for now he's doing well."
To protect your pets - walk them in the morning and evening when it's not so hot.
A longer - not shorter coat keeps them cooler.
Never - ever leave them in a parked car with the windows up and no A/C.
The temperature can soar to a killer level in a few minutes.
Dr. Paul: "That is just an equation for disaster and heart break."
A constant supply of fresh water is a must.
A dip in the pool is nice.
Even better - a cool place to escape.
Like this dog or cat house with air conditioner.
Harry Newmen from Cool Pets Climate Control System: "The system works like a regular air-conditioner. It's portable. It's very energy efficient. It cools down a 10 by 10 room."
Harold Garzon, Sparky's dad: "I can rest assured that during the day that he's taken care of by the air conditioning.
And Sparky can focus on other things.
Harold: "He loves it, he absolutely loves it."
FOR MORE INFORMAITION:
Dr. Steven Paul
Wiles Road Animal Hospital
The Pet Door Company
Cool Pets Climate Control