Too Hot To Trot – Preventing Heat stroke in Dogs

Amy Olivieri | Too Hot To Trot – Preventing Heat stroke in Dogs |  Freedom issue

 

Too Hot To Trot – Preventing Heat stroke in Dogs

Picture it — a gorgeous summer day in Florida and you’re feeling gooood! The weather’s a perfect 81 degrees­—ahhhhh! You look at your dog, your dog looks at you … How about a run, bud? Your dog gives you a lick on the knee to say he’s in. You lace up them kicks and grab the leash.

But, wait … and here’s a crazy thought …. how about you … maybe … don’t grab the leash? It’s pretty hot outside, so it might just be best for you go for a run without your dog.

I totally get it—not the running part, I discourage myself from running any time of the year—the dog wanting/needing exercise part. But we need to be smart as the adult in this relationship. After working in an animal emergency hospital and seeing a dog die from wearing a costume on a warm day, or going for a run on a hot day, or being left in the car while the owner “just ran in,” I feel the need to educate people about heat stroke. I realize most people just don’t know how quickly it can happen and how serious it is. Honestly, I had no idea myself! But I’ve seen the heartache (and subsequent self blame) that pet parents go through every day. The self blame is the worst. I should’ve known. I should’ve prevented this.

I get reallllly upset when I see people running their dogs in the midday heat or hanging out on the beach with no shade or water. The dog is panting so hard, but keeps going because he has to. Can you imagine wearing a fur coat, not being able to sweat, and then being told to exercise in the blazing Florida sun? (I don’t even like to wear a t-shirt, but I do for y’alls sake).

Dogs aren’t able to sweat out excess body heat. The only sweat glands your dog has are on his paws and they’re actually kind of crappy for regulating body temperature. Instead of sweating, your dog expels the excess heat through panting. Normally, panting is enough to relieve him of the excess heat. However, when panting isn’t enough, heatstroke becomes a real risk.

Your dog’s normal resting temperature is about 100.5 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. If his temperature were to rise above 105 degrees, he’d begin to experience effects of heat stroke. At 106 to 108 degrees, he’d begin to suffer irreversible damage to his kidneys, liver, gastrointestinal tract, heart, and brain.

I don’t want to sound like an alarmist, here, but please understand that heat stroke is extremely serious—if not treated in a timely manner it can cause the dog’s organs to completely shut down and his heart to stop altogether. And for certain breeds, it can happen just hanging out in the backyard. Aw heck naw, not on my watch! Let’s learn how to prevent this!

Early signs.
Excessive panting will be your first red flag. Other early signs may be more subtle—your dog might seem less responsive to commands than usual. When you call his name, instead of turning to look at you, he may wander away. He may also be unable or unwilling to move around. The Humane Society of the United States adds that signs of potential heat stroke include glazed eyes, excessive drooling, a rapid heart rate, dizziness or lack of coordination, lethargy, or loss of consciousness. If there’s any question at all, get your dog out of the heat. A dangerously overheated dog may collapse or experience seizures, vomit or have diarrhea. His gums or tongue may turn blue or bright red.

When to exercise.
So … how do you decide whether to grab the leash when you’re ready to go for a bike ride, rollerblade, or run? According to Dr. Justine A. Lee, DVM, a general rule stems from working with sled dogs—If the temperature plus humidity added together are greater than 150, it’s too hot for your dog to exercise!
( I’ll do the math for ya: Temperature: 75°F, Humidity level: 80%
75 + 80 = 155 >>> Too hot to run. YES, heat stroke can happen even at 75 degrees in certain dogs. )

Choose to exercise your dog during non-peak heat hours—very early in the morning or late in the evening (the pavement will be cooler then, too, so no burnt paws).

What if it happens?
Recognizing the symptoms and responding quickly is essential. Call your vet or emergency vet as soon as you can.

1. Get into the shade ASAP. If you think your dog is suffering from heat stroke, move him into a shaded area and out of direct sunlight.

2. Apply cool water to the inner thighs and stomach of the dog, where there’s a higher concentration of relatively superficial, large blood vessels. Use cool—not cold—running water. A faucet or hose is the best way to wet down your dog’s body. Don’t submerge your dog in water, such as in a pool or tub—this could cool the dog too rapidly, leading to further complications.

Using ice or extremely cold water is actually counterproductive to this process, as it will cause the blood vessels to constrict, which slows blood flow, slowing the cooling process.

3. Apply cool water to the foot pads. Rubbing alcohol may also be applied to the footpads to dilate pores and increase perspiration.

4. Don’t cover the dog. One of the keys to successfully cooling your dog is ensuring the water being placed on the dog can evaporate. Don’t cover an overheated dog with a wet towel or blanket. This inhibits evaporation and creates a sauna effect around your dog’s body. Also, don’t wet the dog down and put it into an enclosed area, such as a kennel. Any air flow during the cooling process is helpful in reducing the dog’s body temperature. Sitting with the wet dog in a running car with the air conditioner blowing is an ideal cooling situation.

5. Keep the dog moving. Try to encourage your dog to stand or walk slowly as it cools down. The circulating blood tends to pool in certain areas if the dog is lying down, thus preventing the cooled blood from circulating back to the core.

6. Give small amounts of water. Cooling the dog is the first priority. Hydration is the next. Don’t allow the dog to gulp water. Instead, offer small amounts of cool water, not cold. If the dog drinks too much water too rapidly, it could lead to vomiting or bloat.
Performance beverages designed for humans are not recommended because they’re not formulated with the canine’s physiology in mind. If you can’t get an overheated dog to drink water, try offering chicken- or beef-based broths.

7. Get to your butts to the vet or emergency vet as soon as you can. Like, pronto.

Listen, living in Florida we need to be extra aware of how the heat is affecting our pets. As you may have noticed, it gets pretty darn hot in the summer, but heat stroke can occur in the spring or fall as well. In general, make sure your dog gets plenty of water, air circulation, and shade, and remember the self-cooling ability depends on the dog. Short-snouted breeds like bulldogs or pugs can’t cool themselves as easily through panting. Dog breeds that originated in cold climates (like huskies, malamutes, and newfoundlands) also typically have a harder time adjusting to the heat.

Hopefully this was just a refresher for you—you already knew how to keep your dog safe in the heat, right? Please don’t be afraid to speak up (in a kind way) if you think someone else’s dog is in danger. You could save a life! •

PS! Headed to the beach? Bring shade and fresh water for your dog … unless you want a good talkin’ to.

/ Too Hot To Trot – Preventing Heat stroke in Dogs | Freedom Issue | June/July 2019

Vanity Furs GRAND OPENING

We are so thrilled and ready to reveal our pet hotel! We are partnering with Taste catering for delicious Hors-d’oeuvres, Biscuits and Buttercream for fabulous desserts, flowing champagne AND Pet Wants Jax; a pet food truck!! We will also have our CBD oil distributors here to answer any of your questions about their products! This is an event you don’t want to miss! This event is pet and kid friendly! See you all there!!

Mother’s Day Celebration!

Join Pet Supplies Plus in Atlantic Beach this Sunday, May 12th, for their Mother’s Day party celebrating all you amazing dog moms out there! They will have a custom paw print Mother’s Day card station as well as goodies for the moms and treats for the pups! See you there! 🌸🐾💛

What to do if your pet is lost

Originally published in the Unleash Jacksonville GOOFUS issue

tips to find lost pets of jacksonville
Find your lost pet

It’s a horrible horrible feeling to know your pet is out there somewhere without you. Getting the word out and starting the search quickly can greatly increase the chances of getting your baby back safely. The following are tips and resources that can help you be successful in your reunification:

• Start looking immediately.

Search your OWN home & property to make sure he’s not just hiding.

• Search your neighborhood. Bring your pet’s favorite things with you, a “squeaky” toy or favorite treats and rattle them loudly while calling your pet’s name. It’s also important to stop regularly, be quiet, and listen to see if your pet is making any noise.

• Use social media! Facebook, instagram and twitter are amazing for spreading the word. Post on Lost Found Pets Jacksonville and North Florida, your neighborhood pages, Unleash Jacksonville, and ask your friends to share share share! Post on the NextDoor app.

• Use the power of scent. Place a recently worn article of clothing (at least a day… the stinkier the better) belonging to a family member or the lost pet’s unwashed bedding in your yard or outside your front door where the breeze can carry the scent. Familiar scents can bring them home. Cats will respond to an open can of tuna fish or litter box also.

• Post signs at intersections. Include the breed of dog (or cat), sex, age, weight, and color, use bright colored paper for higher visibility. Give copies of your flyer to people that walk their dogs in the area… and even the postman! The Jacksonville Humane Society has a FREE flyer generator.

• GO TO all the local shelters. Calling the animal control department or shelter on the phone is not very effective. You should go to the shelters at least every other day.

• Contact veterinary clinics both in your area and surrounding areas. Leave a picture of your pet with contact information for the staff.

Use FindingRover.com or the Finding Rover App (free) to mark your pet as missing. The facial recognition technology could help your pet find his or her way back to you.

• Microchips. When your pet is microchipped, be sure to register your pet’s microchip with the microchip company, and if you move, update the information.

• In Jacksonville, file a report with Animal Care & Protective Services. 904-630-2489 (select option 5) or visit coj.net/pets

Notify the shelter or rescue group where you got your pet. They can help!

• Don’t give up hope! There are amazing stories of found pets every day!

JACKSONVILLE LOST PET RESOURCES

Jacksonville Animal Care & Protective Services
(904) 630-2489 • coj.net/pets
ACPS current strays or found dogs

Jacksonville Humane Society
(904) 725-8766 • jaxhumane.org
Free online flyer generator

jaxanimals.com/lost pets

Lost Found Pets Jacksonville and North Florida

Lost Pets of Jacksonville

petharbor.comlostmydoggie.com
fidofinder.competamberalert.com

Atlantic Beach Animal Control • (904) 247-5866
Neptune Beach Animal Control • (904) 270-2411
Jacksonville Beach Animal Control • (904) 247-6167
St. John’s County Animal Control • (904) 209-6190

Have you had a successful reunion? Are you still looking for your pet? Do you have more ideas to help others? Post them in the comments!

 

A letter from a heartbroken family

To whomever picked up a tan and white pup on Plainfield Ave in the Town of Orange Park on October 13, 2107:

Missing since October 13, 2017, in Orange Park, Florida

Please know that she is deeply missed and loved by her family. Please take Doucie in to the nearest vet and scan her for her chip! Doucie is a female, Aussie Shepherd/Beagle/ Lab mix, she is about 18 inches at the shoulder, has white on the legs and belly and last half of her tail. The rest of her is reddish brown with a dusting of black on her nose and ears. Her fur is medium length and seems to be a double coat, hence her love of swimming in all weather. She may have a slight limp from her surgery. She got loose through no fault of ours.

Around 9 o’clock that morning, my mom and I took Doucie to AVS-BluePearl Veterinary Hospital, located at 275 Corporate Way behind Adamec’s Motorcycle Shop, for an after-surgery check-up. Three weeks prior she had ACL surgery on her right knee, hence the shaved fur on that leg and the stitches. We were told to leave Doucie in the care of AVS/BluePearl becuase the doctor that did the surgery wanted to look at her, and the doctor was performing an emergency surgery. We handed Doucie over to a vet-tech after removing her harness. Doucie still had on her yellow and green waterproof collar with an i.d. tag showing her name and phone number, as well as a little red cow bell. We left, believing all was okay. That was the last time we saw Doucie. 

The vet-tech that took Doucie didn’t correctly latch her kennel. Doucie was able to open the gate, open and walk through to interior doors, scan the lobby, and then use her head to open the heavier front door. Even though an alert customer called out that an unattended pup had come through a door and was in the lobby, no vet-tech’s seemed alarmed. They didn’t react until Doucie was outside. Doucie scanned the parking lot for us, but we were already gone, so she ran across Corporate Way and went for a swim in Wells Lake. After her swim, Doucie ran back across Corporate Way, almost getting hit, and ran back to the front door. At this point, either a vet-tech outside, or someone inside scared Doucie and she ran off again. 

Doucie ran along Corporate Way then darted over the railroad tracks and through the woods and brush. A vet-tech did see her crossing the tracks.  We learned that a truck driver had seen Doucie running through the parking lot of the warehouse behind the hotels on Wells Road. Doucie eventually made her way through the woods, possibly resting near a feral cat colony in the area. We found out two weeks later that she was seen being picked up by an unknown person in an unknown vehicle near 704 Plainfield Ave. (verified by Pat Totillo and her K9 search team).

Over the next month and a half, our family and friends made fliers and posters, tacking and taping them to every post, pole and phone box in Orange Park. There is also a Police report on file of the incident. The town of Orange Park was very understanding to our dilemma and allowed us to leave our signs up for a month and a half. They have a town ordinance against unauthorized signs being up more than a day or two. Since October 13, 2017, there have been over 25 possible sightings. None have been verified as Doucie, all have been linked to local pups, even if the caller describes Doucie perfectly.  Case in point, we received a call about a dog that could have been Doucie near W.E.Cherry Elementary School in the Blairmore Blvd area, the caller described her perfectly, even down to the shorter hair on her leg that had been shaved for surgery a month before.  This call proved to be false. The dog seen was a boxer mix, we saw him.  There have been possible sightings all over Clay County, from Plainfield Ave to Oakleaf to the Orange Park Country Club to Ridgecrest to Middleburg and Fleming Island, even up Blanding Blvd to Townsend Road, behind Lexus of Orange Park. We have posted fliers wherever there is a sighting. 

Two weeks into our canvassing of the Town of Orange Park, we encountered an employee of a business on the business loop at the end of Loring Ave that said she saw a dog that looked very much like Doucie being picked up on Plainfield Ave, the day Doucie escaped from the vet hospital. This led to us contacting Pat Totillo and her team to narrow down our search. The K9’s were able to track Doucie from the AVS/BluePearl, down Corporate Way, across the tracks and through the parking lot.  They lost her scent in the woods, but picked her scent up on Ash Street and followed it to an area near the mailbox of 704 Plainfield Ave. To verify this, Ms Totillo had her other K9 come from Loring Ave. This K9 did not alert to Doucie’s scent until he reached the same patch the first K9 alerted to, this verified that Doucie had been picked up. And the K9’s were able to verify that Doucie had never been at any of the sightings that were called in. The only unverified call belongs to a farmer, possibly in Clay County, who described several of Doucie’s characteristics, as well as her collar and tags, in a deep, gravely voice. He said he had to go but he would call back. He never has returned the call, and his numbers were blocked. We have several contacts in Clay County that have been helping us with spreading Doucie’s story and fliers, among them are the Town of Orange Park Police Department, Melissa from PrimeVet on Kingsley Ave., and Mary from Crackers in South Orange Park.     

Doucie has been my moms constant companion ever since we rescued her.  Doucie would sleep by her bed, and check up on her throughout the day, no matter where each one was at the house. Doucie would interrupt her front gate guarding, her sunning, her swimming, or her strolling to go and check on mom, to make sure everything was alright. Mom would go out and check on Doucie too.

Doucie is chipped and was wearing a yellow and green waterproof collar with an i.d. tag and a red bell. She is reddish brown on top and sides with white underneath, and white legs and the last half of her tail is white, like a flag. She has a light dusting of black on her nose and ears. She has medium long fur that seems to be a double coat, based on her penchant for swimming in all kinds of weather.  She is smart, energetic, playful.  Her absence is weighing heavily on us.  We miss Doucie and need her to come home.

If you have ANY information, please contact us! Please share her photo and search for her call/text 904-327-3698

THANK YOU,
James Mooers

Doucie has two facebook pages, Find Doucie and Help Us Find Doucie (please follow!). 

COVER REVEAL

Meet our Unleash Jacksonville DUTY cover power team, Rob and Liberty Bell, and Rob’s wife, Carrie. They are a amazingly strong individuals working through every day as one.

“The night I got Liberty Bell I stuck a 45 in my mouth. I wanted a permanent solution. Now that I have Liberty in my life—the way she acts and responds to me—I no longer have that propensity.”

Robert is very passionate about invisible wound awareness. Over his 30-year Naval career, Robert suffered multiple TBIs (Traumatic Brain Injuries), and just by looks alone, you wouldn’t know Robert is a wounded warrior. Doctors haven’t been able to pinpoint exactly what’s causing his progressive debilitating symptoms, which adds to the frustration. “We didn’t do a great job in the ‘80s recognizing concussions and brain injuries, and there just isn’t enough awareness or funding for the 379,500+ service people who are now suffering. That has to change.”

Robert met Liberty Bell at a time when his symptoms started progressing and he was having seizures. His service dog, Gracie May, an amazing German Shepherd, was doing her final in-house training with What’s Up Dog Service Animal Training. Robert got to “borrow” a dog named Sasha (who was also being trained at What’s Up) while Gracie was away. During that time, Robert had three major seizures back to back. Sasha knew—she just instinctively knew. She immediately started taking care of Robert, nearly pushing his wife, Carrie, out of the way. Carrie was a little nervous, wondering what the dog was doing, but Sasha had the situation under control. She was trained for PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) and mobility assist, but she wasn’t trained for seizure response or detection. “Dogs either have the ability to detect seizures or they don’t. This isn’t a trainable task. Unfortunately, as awesome as she was, my Gracie didn’t have that capacity. And it’s what I came to need as my disability progressed. I didn’t want to re-assign Gracie. But I had to.” Carrie knew pretty much right away, “Sasha was perfect for Rob.”

Sasha became Liberty Bell.
“I re-named her Liberty Bell because she gave me liberty. She gave me confidence to go out and do new things. I did go out with Gracie, but always to the same places. With Liberty, I’m confident in new situations. Three years ago, I would’ve told you service dogs were bunk … just a way for people to take their pets out. But a dog who is trained to perform these specific tasks is actually an extension of that person—a prosthetic.”

There’s nowhere Liberty doesn’t go with Robert. “She sleeps in my bed. She goes to the shower, the bathroom, movies; she’s always on duty. While in Mayport for the trials, she even went on a Naval ship; up and down the ladders. They’d never had a dog on the ship!”

A passion to see people live free.
The Florida panhandle, where Carrie and Robert live, is home to the country’s most dense population of veterans with PTSD and TBIs. It’s also home to the second-highest populous of active duty military. “We have a lot of service dogs in our area.” Carrie and Robert have been working passionately in the last year to make it easier for service members to get the right dog. They work closely with the Pawsitive Love Foundation, which works to provide individuals and families the gift of freedom of access, independence, and the ability to live the most normal life possible. “Currently veterans can get a prescription for a dog and they have no idea how to “cash it in”. We’d like to see it get much easier.”

Educate so we can integrate.
Robert and Carrie also helped to pass the Pawsitive Love Bill—a pilot high school program that introduces students to service dogs, teaches them why we have service dogs, why they’re important, and how to act around them. “Our goal is to bring it to the elementary level. There is such a need to educate kids. There is a ton of service dogs coming, vets can’t stay locked in their houses, losing themselves. If we don’t train the next generation how to act around the dogs and their handlers, there will be plenty of situations that won’t be good. We need to set these veterans and their dogs up for success in society.”

Pawsitive Love Foundation
You can make a difference! Become an advocate for the simple freedom you enjoy every day. It takes funding to transport, house, train, support service dogs and their handlers. Share our mission with your friends! pawsitivelovefoundation.org