Heat Strokes and Dogs

Is it a problem just yet? No at least not if you’re living on the East coast of the US, in case you haven’t checked it’s quite cold outside…so why talk about heat strokes and dogs? Because in the UK a police officer killed his dogs by forgetting them in his car…he forgot about his dogs! This sadly isn’t just a problem in the UK, have you ever watched or read the news in the summer time, there’s a different story everyday about a dog left in the car who died. Hundreds of dogs every summer end up in veterinarians office just for showing signs of heat stroke. The summer isn’t here yet but it will be, better to learn early about heat strokes than when it’s too late.

Symptoms that both dogs and people are subjected to while having a heat stroke include but aren’t limited to shortness of breath, vomiting, weakness, thirst, or even shivering. I don’t know about you but I’ve been out in the sun, thirsty, tired, shivering, feeling like being sick would be my savior. It’s horrible. I don’t like it why would a dog? The difference between a dog and me; I have opposable thumbs and the means to take care of myself.

Dogs, not so much. If it’s hell for a human to have that onset of shivering and nauseousness then imagine what it must be for a dog waiting for its owner to return and save it from this living hell. Unfortunately in Nottingham two dogs were forgotten about by their police handler. For Jet and Jay-Jay their savior from heat stroke was organ failure. Sound fun? I think not. If you want to read more exact details of the incident I am talking about you can check out the article here.

The man started out with three dogs in his car, took one out, and forgot about the other two. Several hours they were left unattended and forgotten about. Unintentional as it was, abuse and death like this happens all the time during the summer months. People who either don’t know dogs can get heat stroke or don’t know what to look for. Did you know that a car can heat up from 85 degrees to 102 in ten minutes and reach 120 degrees in twenty minutes. My source for that particular information came from this site.

Even if that site isn’t accurate there are stories out there of dogs dying after being left in a car for two hours, even four hours when it wasn’t terribly hot out and the dog was rescued from the car alive but died later that night…

What gets me is that ok, yes some people will naturally forget that their dog is in the car, and it can be an honest mistake. But the animal dies! It suffers alone at the expense of its owner or handlers forgetfulness. I don’t think I would ever take my dog in the car if I was just going out to the store or somewhere where the dog would be left in the car for hours at a time. The police officer running late or not should have taken care of the dogs before even thinking about going to his meeting. At the very least he could have gotten somebody else to do it for him, it’s a police station for goodness sakes, you telling me there isn’t one other dog handler that could have borrowed the man’s keys for half an hour to get the dogs to safety?

I just can’t believe it, it’s really sad certainly not as horrible as previous things I’ve posted but it’s a problem in every country that people own dogs. They either get left in the car or left outside for entirely too long. I just wanted to take the time now before it got hot to bring up the issue of heat strokes.

Symptoms of heat stroke in dogs are: “outside on a warm day with or without exercise, usually without access to shade or water, body temperature above 104 degrees, red gums and tongue, thick and sticky saliva, rapid panting, bloody vomiting and diarrhea, bloody nose, collapse, coma, and death. (If your pet goes into shock, which can happen if the body temperature rises above 106 degrees, the gums will be pale).” I just copied this from the site but it can’t hurt to have it printed in several places. The more you read it the more it will stick to memory. To read this and other information refer back to this site please.

If it’s too late for the animal and the symptoms are there,get them to a cool area immediately. Same thing goes for people get cool quick, don’t put yourself into shock but get a fan get somewhere air conditioned. If you’d do it for yourself do it for the dog too. You’ll be able to tell if the dog is in shock or passing out, in that case call the vet let them know and get the dog in.
This blog was more relaxed than my previous blogs have been, not because there isn’t abuse out there but the truth of the matter is this is a problem everywhere and I really did just want to take the time to point out the problem. It happened to a police officer, to an animal rights activist. Just goes to show anybody can forget about their dog, it only takes a few seconds to forget, but an hour or so later the dog is dead and a life is gone for a simple lapse in judgement.  I’m hoping people will read this and take the problem seriously, if not than at least now you’ve been informed that dogs can in fact have heat stroke and now that you know the symptoms you will look for it in dogs that are tied up or locked up in a car with or without the windows cracked because although it might help a little it won’t keep the car from heating up enough to kill the forgotten pet.
I’ve never understood why somebody would take their dog with them while they do five hours of errands perhaps somebody can explain that to me, but leaving your pet in a car is not smart. There’s just no need for a pet to go on errands too. Keep an eye out for the signs of heat stroke as the summer gets closer and progresses.
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6 Responses to “Heat Strokes and Dogs”

  1. kizer Says:

    A couple things. I’ve taken a lot of first aid classes and I know there is heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat exhaustion is mild and only requires water and a little cool down. Heat stroke is deadly, like what we learn is if someone is exhibiting signs of heat stroke you are to put them in a pool if its nearby anything to cool them off quickly like turning the hose on them. My family has a siberian husky and we have to watch him during the summer. He doesn’t really ride in the car much with us but when he’s at the house he lays on his belly a lot on the garage floor to cool off. I think a lot of people aren’t responsible enough to have animals. There should be a common sense test for pet keeping and child bearing.

  2. kjcenters Says:

    Very well written and informative. But sad.

  3. Megan Says:

    So sad… I don’t know how you could forget that you left your dog in the car for hours on end. It’s like forgetting you left your child in the car. They are living breathing beings and it kills me when I hear stories like this. Really well written chelsea!

  4. Laura Beth Says:

    Agreed – very informative, yet sad. Why would anyone leave their poor dog in a hot car?!

  5. placecm Says:

    Kizer- Thank you for explaining the difference between Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke I really don’t talk about exhaustion in the article. There is a difference and I agree with you that people don’t have common sense and should have to take a test sadly people just don’t care about animals enough to do checks before they sell pets to them. Once they get their money they don’t care what happens to the animal.

    Everyone Else-Thank you I’m trying to be more informative in my blog and have a point other than just venting about stupid people that don’t deserve to have dogs. I wish I knew why people do what they do, leaving a dog in a hot car even with the window cracked doesn’t even begin to make sense but I suppose not everyone thinks before they act. They don’t think bad things will happen to their pet until it happens as if their animal is immune to dying or something.

  6. VitaHound Staff Says:

    Our company is based in Arizona where the temperature in a car becomes lethal within minutes, Our staff at VitaHound supports organizations with mission of educating owners on the dangers of heat and their hound. Dog health involves understanding a dog’s ability to cope with certain aspects of their environment.

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