For people who live in a cold climate like Blayney, the days when the risk of heat stress to ourselves and family are relatively rare.
The same goes for our dogs, but unlike humans, our dogs can’t ask for a drink or take their coat off and depend on us to keep them in cool conditions.
Ruth Thompson from Blayney vets said that dogs with heat-stroke have already presented at the clinic.
“On days of over 27 degree and if you are a dog and combine the heat with excessive exercise or distress and reduced water intake, it equals a disaster,” she said.
Heat-stroke, or hyperthermia, is an elevation in body temperature that is above the generally accepted normal range. Anything above 39 degrees is accepted to be abnormal.
It’s caused by the dog’s body not being able to accommodate excessive external heat, with a body temperature of 41 degrees or higher, without signs of inflammation, a heat-stroke can lead to multiple organ dysfunction and death.
“Dog’s cannot sweat,” Mrs Thompson said, “To cool off they drool, and lose fluid, and they pant to lose heat. Panting though on a hot day is ineffectual.”
Mrs Thompson said that dogs with flat faces can’t pant effectively and should be kept in air-conditioned rooms on hot days.
Working dogs also suffered in the heat as do those with long hair. Puppies are also more susceptible to heat stroke than older dogs.
“If your dog is feeling the heat, soak it in a cold bath, maybe a couple of times,” she said. “Ensure that there is adequate shade and don’t work any dog on hot days.”