Heat Stroke Awareness
As I sit at the front desk of the Park Gate Animal & Bird Hospital, the sun beams through the windows onto my face and I am loving the summer heat. I look outside into the Park Gate Shopping Centre parking lot and I see tails wagging in the back of a giant black van, and I wonder if those dogs are enjoying the summer heat as well. When I see that the windows are only open a crack, and the dogs are panting like they’ve just run the Vancouver Sun Run, I realize that they are not enjoying it at all. I placed a “I Hate Heat Stroke” flyer on their windshield, and reported them to the SPCA.
I can’t believe that people today still leave their pets in the car during the summer time, especially after that horrific story emerged in the news involving those 6 dogs that suffocated and over-heated to their deaths. Many people don’t realize that dogs cannot sweat; they only lose body heat by panting, or through their foot pads. If you leave a dog in a hot stuffy car with scorching upholstery, how are they expected to cool down? Have you ever entered your car that has been sitting in the parking lot all day? It’s hot in there!
Help Fido chill out with a child’s pool!
There have been many rumours flying around regarding helping out a pet in distress. I called the City of North Vancouver to find out what is true and what is not. The main rumour states that if a person sees a dog overheating in a car, they are legally allowed to break the window to let the dog out. Unfortunately, if you see a dog in a car you are not allowed to break the window. You should first call 911, then take down the license plate number and call the SPCA to report animal cruelty. Only a registered animal welfare official or a police officer can break the window. You should try to locate the owner in a nearby store, or ask the manager to make an announcement over the PA system.
If you are lucky enough to find the car door open, remove the dog and use some of these tips below to help lower their temperature, and call a veterinarian immediately.
I know that most of you reading this blog are animal lovers, and I know I am preaching to the choir here, but please help me spread the word regarding the realities of heat stroke in pets. If we can even save one life, it’s worth it.
Erin – Veterinary Assistant at Park Gate Animal & Bird Hospital