Finally, warm summertime weather! After a terribly rainy May, it is starting to feel like summer in the midwest. I know some might disagree, but I say, “Bring on the HEAT!” You can start doing all those fun summertime activities like boating; fishing; swimming; and, my all time favorite, the Jet Ski. I had my summer vacation early this year, so for the rest of the summer, I plan to do as many of those things as often as I can.
Some of you may know, my parents had a house fire this winter, and it’s been a rough few months. However, we plan on opening the pool, putting out the patio furniture, and trying to get back to as much normalcy as possible. There has always been an open policy for family when it comes to our pool. Many days when my parents are at work, aunts, uncles, and cousins are over enjoying the water and sun. As far as we know (pool isn’t quite open yet), the pool wasn’t damaged. Thankfully! There is always something to be thankful for, and things could always be just a little worse.
So while we are out enjoying this weather, be aware that many times the heat can be too much for your pet. Being a vet, I have treated “heat stroke” in patients, and it is a horrible and typically fatal thing to occur. Even if your pet is “used” to being outside or commonly exercises a couple miles with you each day, on those warm summer days, the heat may just prove to be too much for them to handle. I’ll never forget this extremely sad case where these young newly weds brought their pet to me after it collapsed on their mid-day run. This dog was used to running several miles every day, but typically not in the middle of the day. However, this time they took a 2 p.m. run, because it was a holiday. Although the dog was presented to me in what appeared to be “decent shape”, I knew what was likely to occur in the next 48 hours. These owners loved this dog very, very much and were devastated when I had to tell them what had likely happened and what the patient’s prognosis was. They wanted to do everything they could to save him. So over the next 48 hours, his body began to shut down as expected. After multiple blood transfusions, antibiotics, IV fluids and $2500 later…. he had to be humanely euthanized due to his deterioration and suffering.
This story isn’t to make anyone sad or depressed, but rather to be an example of what this heat can do to our beloved pets. Unfortunately, I have seen the same thing from leaving the pet outside with little escape from the sun. Here is a article I stumbled across with good tips for avoiding dangerous summer temperatures!
– Dr. Beyers