Hot Summer Temperatures Coupled With High Humidity Can Overheat Dogs

Prepared by Jason Nicol.
For more information contact Dr. William Fortney at 785-532-4135.


MANHATTAN -- High humidity and soaring temperatures make for hot dogs.


The old saying that it's not the heat but the humidity that makes summer days so miserable is particularly apt when it comes to dogs and their well-being. According to Dr. William Fortney, assistant professor of clinical sciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University, dogs become less efficient at cooling themselves as the humidity rises. "Just like people, dogs are cooled by evaporation. The problem with high humidity is that it decreases evaporation and slows down the cooling process," Fortney said. "This time of year we hear a lot about the heat index, which is a measurement of both the temperature and the humidity level, and that is what an owner needs to pay close attention to." There are other factors that hinder canines' ability to cool themselves. They only have sweat glands on the pads of their feet and on their nose, which are inadequate for cooling during hot and humid days, Fortney said. "Panting helps dogs cool themselves but they still aren't as efficient at cooling themselves as people are," Fortney added. "A dog's heavy coat also works against the cooling process which makes them that much more prone to heat exhaustion." Fortney said there are several stages a dog suffering from heat exhaustion goes through. Heavy panting is the first. That soon gives way to huffing and puffing and the dog will lie down or collapse. If left untreated it will slip into unconsciousness and die. The first step pet owners should take if their dog is suffering from heat exhaustion is to cease all activity, get the animal out of the sun and give it water, Fortney said. "The owner can then put the dog in the bath tub or let the garden hose run for a few seconds and then spray the dog down. Then it can be placed in front of a fan which will aid in evaporation," Fortney said. "Ice bags can also be placed around the dog's head and neck." Fortney also said it is important to start the cooling process as soon as possible. "A person's first reaction might be to jump in the car and get the dog to a veterinarian, but in a case of heat exhaustion this is the wrong thing to do," Fortney said. "When a dog's temperature has reached 108 or 110 degrees it can only take a couple of minutes before brain damage can occur. The car ride could take five to 10 minutes, so the owner needs to cool the dog down before taking it to a veterinarian." There are several activities that can cause heat exhaustion in dogs, such as running, being outside for an extended period of time or just sitting in the sun for too long. However, Fortney said that the main cause for over-heated dogs is an avoidable situation that is all too common. "A lot of the heat exhaustion cases we see are a result of dogs being left in a car," Fortney said. "A person can't crack the windows enough to cool down the dog without letting it out of the car. This is the worst case scenario and it only takes a few minutes before it becomes a matter of life and death."

Because of the way dogs cool themselves, they are more susceptible to heat exhaustion than humans. Below are some steps for the identification and treatment of heat exhaustion.


Symptoms of heat exhaustion:

* Heavy panting
* Dog begins huffing and puffing or gasping for air
* Dog begins to weave when it walks because of dizziness
* Dog lays down or collapses and can't get up
* Dog becomes unconscious


Depending on the seriousness of the situation, these are the steps an owner should take if your dog is suffering from heat exhaustion:

1. Move the dog out of the sun and into the shade or into an air-conditioned building.
2. Give the dog water to drink.
3. Rinse the dog off either in the bath tub or with a garden hose.
4. Place the dog in front of a fan while it is still damp.
5. Place ice bags around the dog's head and neck.
6. Take the dog to the veterinarian only after the dog has been cooled down.


 Canine Fitness Buddies

by Renee Cloe,
A.C.E. Personal Trainer

Dogs can be extremely motivating workout partners for walkers and joggers. Their enthusiasm is contagious, and they’re annoyingly persistent about nudging idle television watchers off the sofa and out the door. Although, our four-legged fitness buddies do require a few special considerations: 
   Take a look at your dog’s physical characteristics, age, and personality. A small energetic dog with short legs may be great for a walker but unable to keep up with a long legged human jogger. A big lumbering beast may prefer strolling along drooling to performing wind sprints. Try to keep your dog’s natural build and abilities in mind when you plan your exercise sessions. Be especially conservative with puppies and older dogs. Check with your vet if you’re uncertain about your dog’s health or abilities. 
  You’ll likely encounter lots of other people and dogs on sidewalks and park trails. Proper vaccinations are especially important, as are proper manners. Never, ever, ever allow your dog to run loose, no matter how friendly and well trained you think he is. Nothing will ruin your workout quite like watching your friendly well-trained dog get crushed under the wheels of a trash truck. Even if your dog is amicable, that leashed Rottweiler he runs up to might not be happy to see him. Joggers and cyclists, who are forever being chased by dogs, might respond to a "friendly" greeting with a can of mace. If you want to give your dog some freedom when you exercise, invest in a good retractable leash. That will give your dog up to 15 feet of play space, but you’ll still have him safely under control. 
   Remember that dogs need proper conditioning just like human exercisers. Increases in speed and mileage should occur in a series of progressions. If Fluffy spends the majority of her time lying around in the air conditioning eating cheese nips and watching television, you don’t want to suddenly take her for a 5-mile run. Your dog may initially be able to run several blocks or walk several miles, but she won't necessarily be able to run substantial distances (especially on concrete) without soreness and injury. Even the really energetic breeds may need to be reigned in a bit so that they don't injure themselves in their enthusiasm to go fast and far. 
   Pay special attention to the heat index since your friend will be exercising in a fur coat. This can be particularly dangerous during the summer months because dogs don’t sweat. They can only dissipate heat by panting or through the pads of their feet, and the latter method doesn’t work very well on scorching hot pavement. 
   Make sure your pet gets plenty of water before and after exercise, but avoid running right after your dog has eaten. Vigorous exercise on a full stomach can be as uncomfortable for canine exercisers as it is for their humans. If you go for a big run right after a big meal, Fido is likely to experience cramping and indigestion and puke all over your running shoes. It’s best to feed your dog after the workout, once he's had time to cool off and settle down.
Your dog can’t tell you if it hurts, so it’s up to you to watch for signs of trouble. A dog can suffer from soreness and overtraining just like a human exerciser. However, in their enthusiasm, it may not occur to them to stop. Keep an eye out for any signs of limping. Check the pads of your dog’s feet regularly for cracking, cuts, or glass. If your dog seems to be exhausted, injured or lagging behind, stop and evaluate the situation. A rest, a drink, and a slower pace may in order. More serious concerns may require a trip to the vet or taking a few days off. 
Remember that you need to exercise at your dog’s pace, not the other way around. Your dog’s build and level of fitness might not suit your activity level. If that’s the case, make exercising with your dog a fun additional activity and not your primary cardio workout. Just because you’re training for a 10K doesn’t mean that your Dachshund wants to. 
Exercising with your dog can be quite rewarding and enjoyable. If you walk the same neighborhood regularly for years, you’ll see the seasons change, watch children grow up, catch sunrises and sunsets, and share countless funny moments and small adventures. Beats the heck out of a treadmill… 

Solutions for ears

 Purple Stuff

This is for the people whose Ridgebacks need special ear treatment. The following information may prove useful.  This formula has been handed down from a wonderful veterinarian, now deceased.  Devotees have found it also effective for cuts, fungus between the toes and small tumor-like cysts, but must be done faithfully as instructed.  I would remind you that the ears are very sensitive and your dog may appreciate having it warmed up a bit. I warm mine up by putting the solution I'm going to use in the microwave for about 8 - 10 seconds and test it on your arm before putting it in the dog's ears so you don't burn them. It should just be luke warm in temperature.  

"Purple Power Ear Treatment"

16 oz Isopropyl Alcohol
4 Tablespoons Boric Acid Powder
16 Drops Gentian Violet Solution 1%
Mix together in alcohol bottle and shake well.  You will also need to shake the solution every time you use it to disperse the Boric Acid Powder, it does not dissolve.  To use, purchase the "Clairol" type plastic bottle you can get at Sally's hair store. This will be easier to dispense to the affected ears.

TREATMENT:  Evaluate condition of ears before treating and if very inflamed or sore do not attempt to clean ears out at all.  Wait until inflammation has subsided which will be about 2 days.  Shake the bottle each time before using. Flood the ear with solution (gently squirt bottle). Massage gently to the count of 60 seconds. Wipe with a tissue.  Flood ears again on first treatment, wipe with tissue again and leave alone without massage.  The dog will shake out the excess which can be wiped out again. The Gentian Violet does stain fabrics!  I do my dogs outside.  

SCHEDULE:  Treat 2 x per day for the first week to  2 weeks depending upon severity of the ears.  Treat 1 x per day for the next 1-2 weeks.  Treat 1 x per month (or even less frequently, depending on the dog).  All of these ingredients should be available at a pharmacy.  I went to Family Pharmacy.  Despite the alcohol, the dog will not object to even the agent, the Boric Acid is soothing for the ears and the Gentian Violet is an anti infection agent.  The Solution appears to work well on any and all ear problems from mites to wax to canker.  After the 2nd or 3rd day you can clean out the ear with a Q-tip or cotton balls.

The success rate for this treatment is 95-99% if done properly. Those who do not have success have usually not done the treatment long enough or have not been regular about it.  Dogs on the verge of ear canal surgery have been returned to normal with only the regular follow-up treatment to keep the ear healthy. 

18TH JUL 2016 | 8 NOTES



Dr. Dodds 2016 Vaccination Protocol for Dogs


The following vaccine protocol is offered for those dogs where minimal vaccinations are advisable or desirable. The schedule is one I recommend and should not be interpreted to mean that other protocols recommended by a veterinarian would be less satisfactory. It’s a matter of professional judgment and choice.

9 - 10 weeks of age
Distemper + Parvovirus, MLV 
e.g. Merck Nobivac (Intervet Progard) Puppy DPV


14 – 15 weeks of age
Distemper + Parvovirus, MLV


18 weeks of age
Parvovirus only, MLV
Note: New research states that last puppy parvovirus vaccine should be at 18 weeks old.


20 weeks or older, if allowable by law
Rabies – give 3-4 weeks apart from other vaccines
Mercury-free (thimerosol-free, TF)


1 year old
Distemper + Parvovirus, MLV
This is an optional booster or titer. If the client intends not to booster after this optional booster or intends to retest titers in another three years, this optional booster at puberty is wise.


1 year old
Rabies – give 3-4 weeks apart from other vaccines
3-year product if allowable by law; mercury-free (TF)

Perform vaccine antibody titers for distemper and parvovirus every three years thereafter, or more often, if desired. Vaccinate for rabies virus according to the law, except where circumstances indicate that a written waiver needs to be obtained from the primary care veterinarian. In that case, a rabies antibody titer can also be performed to accompany the waiver request. Visit The Rabies Challenge Fund for more information.

W. Jean Dodds, DVM
Hemopet / NutriScan
11561 Salinaz Avenue
Garden Grove, CA 92843