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On a hot day a quick stop at a convenience store can be deadly for a dog, child, elderly person, or others with medical issues from heat danger. Rancho Coastal Humane Society (RCHS) spokesman John Van Zante will demonstrate the danger when he locks himself in a closed vehicle this Thursday, June 15 at 2:00 PM at the shelter at 389 Requeza Street in Encinitas.
Van Zante says, “High temperatures can be hazardous or even deadly. Common sense can save a life. The temperature in a closed vehicle can rise as much as 30 degrees in less than 5 minutes. In the time it takes to go into a store and buy a loaf of bread, the temperature in your vehicle can go from comfortable to deadly.”
“Most of us know that it gets really hot in a closed vehicle,” says Van Zante. “It’s a case of the temperature rising much higher and much faster that we realize.”
Owners don’t recognize the symptoms that their pets or family members are overheating. The longer they wait the higher the risk of organ damage or death. Dogs don’t sweat. They pant. When they can’t pant fast enough, and when the air inside a closed vehicle or room is nearo their body temperature of around 103 degrees, it can cause heat exhaustion. Symptoms include rapid panting, reddening of their gums and the skin inside the ears, vomiting, and diarrhea. If this occurs, take your dog to a cool place and offer it sips (not drinks) of water. Dampen the dog with cool (not cold) water.
If you discover the symptoms too late or the initial treatment isn’t enough your dog could suffer heat stroke. Organs will shut down. If that happens, get emergency veterinary care. A dog may seem disoriented and walk like it’s drunk. Other symptoms include: Confusion, Drooling, Dry gums, Lethargy, Loss of consciousness, Rapid heartbeat, Bleeding, Refusal to drink, and a Body temperature of 105 degrees or more.
If you believe your dog is suffering from heat stroke, hose it down with cool (not cold) water then rush him to the nearest vet (even if it’s not your regular vet.). If its temperature stays above 105 degrees, damage to the major organs (brain, heart, kidneys, liver) occurs.
The public is invited to the Heat Danger news conference and demonstration beginning at 2:00 PM this Thursday, June 15 at Rancho Coastal Humane Society at 389 Requeza Street in Encinitas. For more information log on to www.sdpets.org or call 760-753-6413.
(Members of the media are welcome to join me in the vehicle at their own risk.)