Don't Let Your Pet Become a Heatstroke Statistic This Summer

 

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Imagine if you had a heavy fur coat that you could never take off, even when it was 95 degrees outside. You would feel pretty miserable in a hurry. Now imagine what it’s like for your pet. Not only does he not have the words to express his discomfort, he is completely dependent on you to keep him safe in the summer heat. While prevention is best when it comes to heatstroke, you should know the symptoms to look for as well.

Dogs and Cats Respond Differently to Heat Than Humans Do

When you get too warm, your body automatically starts sweating in response. Dogs and cats don’t have this ability. They pant instead or release heat through the pads on the bottom of their feet. Their bodies automatically use a temperature exchange system known as convection to cool their skin. This means that they exchange the heat from their body for the cooler outdoor air. Heatstroke can occur when the air outside is not significantly cooler than the dog or cat’s own body temperature.

Heatstroke Prevention for Your Pet

Even if your dog loves riding in the car with you, keep her at home when you’re running errands on a hot day. It takes only minutes for the temperature inside of a car to become deadly. Here are some other tips to ensure that your animal friend doesn’t succumb to heatstroke this summer:

  • Make drinking water available at all times
  • Don’t put a muzzle on a dog who is outside in hot weather
  • Make sure that your pet has plenty of shady areas to rest and play
  • Use a damp towel to keep your pet’s body temperature at a normal level
  • Bring your pet inside as much as possible and turn on the fan or air conditioner
  • Consider covering your dog’s paws or avoid burns from the pavement. You may also want to put off walking her until it’s cooler in the evening.

Indications of a Possible Heatstroke

Sometimes pets still suffer from heatstroke, despite receiving good care from their owners. Unfortunately, animal heatstroke has a high fatality rate. That’s why it’s so important to recognize these symptoms:

  • Panting more than usual
  • Lethargy
  • Gums appear pale
  • Tongue appears bright red
  • Dizziness
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

If you notice one or more of these issues, get your dog or cat out of the heat and contact us at Grantsburg Animal Hospital Immediately. Our answering service will page Dr. Greg Palmquist for all after hours emergencies.

 

Photo credit:  pressdigital | iStock

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Summer Parasite Awareness for Cat, Dog, and Horse Owners

Parasites can be a nuisance for pets and their owners any time of year, but they are especially problematic in the summer months. When you consider that parasites breed more often in warm weather and pets spend more time outdoors, this is easy to understand. Even your indoor pet is not immune from fleas, ticks, and various types of intestinal worms. Because of their microscopic size, these parasites can get into your home on someone's clothing or even through a screen door.

Fleas and Ticks

Fleas burrow into carpet and furniture and can survive for a long time without a living host. Since your dog or cat isn't immune to flea infestation during the cold weather months, it's important to provide him with year-round protection.

Ticks can be deadly when they carry Lyme disease or Rocky Mountain spotted fever. They are often hard to spot because they are attracted to warm-blooded areas, such as the folds of your pet's ears. During the summer, be sure to check your pet from head to toe anytime she spends time in a wooded area or in thick grass.

Intestinal Worms

Heartworms, hookworms, and ringworms are the most prevalent types of intestinal worms to affect dogs and cats. Symptoms of infestation may include lethargy, poor appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and difficulty breathing. Untreated cases of heartworm can kill a dog or cat when they become lodged in the lungs and prevent normal breathing. They are also capable blocking regular blood flow to the heart.

The best way to prevent these parasites from infecting your pet is to administer monthly medication. It's easy to order heartworm pills, flea and tick powders, and several other types of medication directly from our online store. 

Parasites Affecting Horses

The same parasites that threaten the health of dogs and cats are also a risk for horses. Because of their large size, horses attract additional parasites such as pinworms, tapeworms, and stomach bots. It's typically more of a challenge to keep horses free of parasites than smaller animals. At Grantsburg Animal Hospital, we publish a vaccination and de-worming schedule for horses every spring. Our equine specialists are happy to work with you to develop a parasite prevention plan for the summer.

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Getting Through the Grief of Pet Loss

griefIt's an unfortunate myth that losing a pet is insignificant compared to losing a person you love. People naturally grieve the loss of anyone they spend so much of their life with, whether human or animal. At a time like this, you don't need people who belittle your very real feelings of grief by saying that your dog, cat, or other pet was just an animal and you shouldn't feel so bad about it. Instead, make it a point to surround yourself with people who understand how much your pet meant to you and how sad you feel now that he or she is gone.

Tips to Cope with Your Loss

You had a unique relationship with your pet, so it's important to honor your feelings after his or her death. If you ignore your feelings, they are likely to come out later in inappropriate ways. Sometimes the intensity of emotions like sadness or anger can overwhelm people, but that's okay. Allow yourself to feel them anyway. Never judge yourself for the way you feel, especially once you have reached the point where memories make you laugh more than cry. This is a good indication that you have come to terms with the loss of your beloved animal companion.

Other people who have recently lost pets can be an enormous source of support for you at this time. The staff at Grantsburg Animal Hospital would be happy to make a recommendation if you find yourself struggling with your grief. The Internet also offers a wealth of resources if you prefer to seek support online rather than in person.

Rituals typically reserved for people, such as a funeral and burial, may help you come to terms with the finality of your pet's death. You may also find it comforting to create a legacy, such as a scrapbook, planting a tree in his or her honor, or donating time and money to pet-related causes. When you feel ready, you may even want to consider adopting a new pet to love.

Image credit:  Pojoslaw | Thinkstock.com

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Micro Identification: Why Microchip?

 

 
 
 
   
 
Microchipping is an effective way to give your pets extra identification.
 
   
 
Click here or call (800) 924-0588 to request an appointment.
 
 
   
 
 
Your pets are one-of-a-kind gems, but what would happen if your precious treasures went missing?
According to The Humane Society of the United States, 5 to 7 million pets enter animal shelters nationwide each year. Some have been abandoned, others are strays and some have lost their way.
Even though you are an experienced and responsible pet parent, your pets could still go missing one day. You never know when something unexpected could happen, so it is always best to be prepared. A microchip won't slip and fall off like collars and tags can. Plus, more identification is always better than less!
Help ensure your pets' safe return home should they ever become lost.
 
   
 
15% OFF MICROCHIPPING through June 2015!
Click or call (see above) to schedule an appointment TODAY!
 
   
 
 
 
 
Grantsburg
Animal Hospital
866 S Pine St
Grantsburg, WI 54840
(715) 463-2536
 
 
 
 
 
Wild River
Veterinary Clinic
140 Evergreen Square SW
Pine City, WI 55063
(320) 629-7474
 
 
 
 
 
Frederic
Veterinary Clinic
1502 300th Ave
Frederic, WI 54837
(715) 327-8128
 

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