The hot season in Yucatán is serious stuff, and unlike you, your canine pet cannot sweat. While you regulate the temperature of the body with your sweat glands, your puppy does it through panting.
While dogs have a small amount of sweat glands (which are prominently in the paw pads), their primary source of heat exchange (i.e., getting rid of heat) is by panting. Vasodilation (i.e., dilating of blood vessels [which can cause a flushing appearance on the skin]) is another method. Lastly, they are capable of sweating a little via their paw pads.
“On very hot days, the panting is not enough, and dogs can get a heat stroke: the dog walks, stops, and starts gasping, there is a rupture of red blood cells, and their kidneys and liver may suffer major damage”, explains Clemente Revilla Bonilla, zootechnical veterinarian certified in Surgery and Medicine of small canine species.
“80% of dogs in heat shock die,” he warns.
“To avoid this outcome, one must immediately lower the body temperature. But this doesn’t mean to go and soak them in cold water or put them in the air conditioning; the animal has to be taken to a Vet to receive a special therapy,” says the director of Revilla Veterinary Hospital.
“It is not the only risk that canines face in the hot season. Intestinal diseases increase because there are more bacteria in the environment and the food decomposes more easily; Vomiting, diarrhea and fluid loss begin. If we see that our puppy does not move, its nose, eyes and skin are dry, these are signs of dehydration,” says the expert.
“In this case, your dog has to be treated by a veterinarian as quickly as possible.”
“All dogs should have adequate hydration, they often need to be supplemented with serums. But if it is a puppy that is inside the home, it is not necessary because that can cause an imbalance of electrolytes and other types of ailments,” he adds.
It is also not necessary to shave all the long-haired animals to keep them cool, because in some cases the hair layers reflect the ultraviolet rays, depending on their color, as a natural protective mechanism. This is the case with Siberian huskies, who “endure the heat very well as long as they are in a place where the sun does not hit them directly”; same thing with Samoyedos, French Poodles, Shitzus and Long Hair Chihuahuas.
Those that are affected the most are the brachycephalic dogs, like the Pug, because the internal space where the air should be cooled is smaller than in other breeds. It is advisable to keep them inside the house, since being outdoors, could definitely be too hot for them.
During the hot season the probabilities of a dog getting Distemper increase, this illness attacks the respiratory tract, and may cause death. Also other type of deseases start to spread during hot season, such as parvovirus in puppies, ticks and parasitosis.
“Periodic deworming is recommended and we must always keep the vaccination schedule of our canine friend up-to-date, which will result not only in the good health of the pet, but also in ourselves, since a sick dog can transmit certain parasites to humans”, Revilla said.
Tips to keep dogs healthy this summer:
Your dog needs to drink clean water
Make sure that your dog always has fresh and clean water to drink, its water containers must be free of scale.
Your dog needs to stay in the shade
Keep your dog in cool, shady places. Do not tie them up because you prevent them from looking for the best protected areas.
Your dog needs to exercise
Take your dog out to walk very early, before 7 or 8 a.m., or after the sun is down.
TYT Newsroom with information from yucatan.com.mx
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