Hot weather can be harmful to pets

June 7, 2011 8:22:20 PM PDT
With temperatures in the 90s, veterinarians are warning pet owners that prolonged exposure to the heat can be very harmful to animals.

Doctors at Arboretum View Animal Hospital say they have had three cases of dogs dying from heat stroke in the past few days.

Angie Dimitriou had a close call with her dog Charlie. On an unusually warm day, Charlie survived a heat stroke after a family walk.

"We were out for a half an hour, and even that was too much for her," said Dimitriou.

Dimitriou says Charlie then collapsed. After cooling him off at home, Dimitriou took the dog to the Arboretum View Animal Hospital.

"Thankfully, through the care of the doctors, they were able to give her a blood transfusion and she had to stay overnight, and she was one of the few that made it," said Dimitriou.

Dr. Alexis Newman, medical director of Arboretum View Animal Hospital, says 90 percent of dogs with heat stroke die.

"I think people feel like if they can handle it, their pet can and that's not the case, because we can feel when we're ready to stop," said Dr. Newman.

With temperatures soaring into the 90s, Dr. Newman says it's best to keep your pets inside or limit their activity to a short time in the shade or take them out in the morning or night. Newman says it's important to keep a close eye on your dog's activity.

"If the dog usually is ahead of you running up on the leash and they're suddenly dragging behind, that's the first way of telling you they can't keep up," said Dr. Newman.

An empty Glen Ellyn dog park was evidence Tuesday that dog owners are taking advice to keep their pets inside. Angie Dimitriou learned the hard way.

"We learned our lesson," said Dimitriou.

Dr. Newman says if your dog has signs of heat exhaustion, the best thing to do is cool your pet off with some tap water and then bring the dog to an animal hospital or clinic.

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