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Preparedness Month – HEAT STROKE

heat of sun on thermometer reads 110 degreesThe Arizona summer is here. Dogs that spend time outdoors are in danger of hyperthermia, commonly known as heat stroke. Hyperthermia occurs when your dog’s body temperature rises dangerously above normal (103°F), putting them in danger of multiple organ failure or death.  Early recognition and treatment of heat stroke improves your pet’s chances of making a quick recovery.

While people can tell us when they aren’t feeling well, it’s a little harder for pets. We have to pay close attention to their behavior. Here are the signs and symptoms to watch for:

SYMPTOMS

  • Panting
  • Dehydration
  • Excessive drooling
  • Reddened gums
  • Reduced urine production
  • Rapid/irregular heart rate
  • Vomiting blood/ black, tarry stools
  • Changes in mental status (ie, confusion)
  • Seizures/muscle tremors
  • Wobbly, uncoordinated/drunken gait or movement
  • Unconsciousness / Cardiopulmonary Arrest (heart and breathing stop)

TREATMENT

Panting is how dogs naturally cool themselves. Rapid, continual panting is a sign your pet is overheating and stressed. Bring them inside out of the heat, and call your vet to alert them of the situation. They can provide guidance for your next steps.

Next, take steps to gradually cool your pet down. Do NOT use ice or extremely cold water as it can cause shock and other undesirable reactions. Lightly spray your pet with cool water or wrap them in cool, wet towels and use a fan for convection cooling. 

Evaporative cooling can also be achieved by swabbing isopropyl alcohol on foot pads, groin, and under the forelegs. When their temperature reaches 103° F, stop cooling to avoid dropping below normal body temperature, then seek veterinary care to be certain they’re out of danger.

The Importance of Dental Health

Virtually no one likes going to the dentist…but we all know it’s important! Dental care for humans and animals alike is something that should never be ignored. Proper dental hygiene is a critical part of keeping your pet healthy and happy, helping to avoid potentially life-threatening issues that come with dental disease. Want to know just a bit more? Dr. Tressa MacLennan from our Scottsdale location did a quick segment with a brief overview! Check it out:

Flip the Lip: Recognizing Dental Disease in Pets

Periodontal disease is the most commonly diagnosed preventable disease in dogs and cats. By age three, nearly 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats have some form of dental disease, which can lead to more severe health problems.

There are strong links between gum disease and heart disease in humans and animals, so prevention is the key. Here’s why:

Get down on their level. Flip the lip. Take a close look at the REAL condition of their teeth.

Are their gums pink and healthy, or red and inflamed?
Can you see discolorations on the teeth or at the gum line?
Is there evidence of any loose, cracked, or broken teeth?

We’re betting there’s a lot more going on in there than you realized. Luckily, it’s National Pet Dental Health Month, so pet parents can save $50 off a dental cleaning for Fido or Fluffy at any AZPetVet location.  We’ll even help you create a simple, regular home care plan for keeping doggy and kitty grins brighter.

 

Adopt a Senior Dog & Save an Animal’s Life

November is Adopt a Senior Dog Month, so we thought it might be helpful to go over some of the reasons you should consider adopting an older pet.

Statistics show that once a pet reaches the age of five, their age becomes a huge barrier to adoption. The older the animal, the higher the chance they will be euthanized quickly, because of overcrowding, as well as the time it takes to place them in a good home.

Older pets lose their homes and families for a variety of reasons. While many people believe there must be something wrong with the pet, like health or behavior issues, most often, it’s problems with the owner’s life – illness or death, financial challenges, allergies, changes to work schedules or moving to a new residence.

On the brighter side, senior pets make wonderful companions for families and senior citizens. They’re also a great choice for those who don’t have the time or patience to train and raise a young animal. This is especially true for dogs, who require house training, obedience classes, socialization, and regular exercise. Another advantage of adopting an older dog is that you won’t be surprised by how big they get – they’re done growing.

While older pets may be stressed and confused by the transition from their home to the shelter or rescue, most will quickly adapt to a new, loving home and family.

Our prescription? Kindness, patience, and lots of love – and of course, regular wellness checks to keep them healthy. Numerous studies show that dog owners are often healthier than non-dog owners, so that’s another bonus!

Ready to give an older pet a chance but need to know where to adopt a senior dog? A quick Google search will show that the Greater Phoenix metro area has a number of rescue organizations dedicated to rehoming senior animals. That’s a great place to begin!

Five Ways to Celebrate National Dog Week

Dogs are special, so why not celebrate National Dog Week by doing something special for your furry buddies? Here are some fun ideas:

1/ Treat your pup to a new toy!

Take them to your favorite pet store, and let them pick out a new toy. If it’s a plush toy, you already know it’s not likely to last long, especially if it has a squeaker. Let your pup go to town on it and make a glorious mess – or consider a different type of toy. Interactive toys have compartments for treats. Your dog will have to work to get the treat, keeping them engaged and occupied for hours at a time.

2/ Get outside together and explore the world! 

Cooler weather is finally here! Whether it’s a walk around the neighborhood on a leash or a run at the dog park, make a promise to take your dog out to enjoy the sights, smells and sounds all around you. It’s good for you both!

3/ Treat your dog to a spa day or grooming session.

Baths and grooming can be challenging with dogs because there doesn’t seem to be a happy medium. They either love the attention or hate it with a passion. Professional groomers can not only get your pooch looking and smelling great, they can also help with teeth cleaning, nail clipping and anal gland evacuation (don’t try this at home – it’s icky – trust us).

4/ Have a pet party!

Invite friends and neighbors to bring their dogs over for a pet party. Be sure to have plenty of fresh treats and lots of toys to play with – the dogs are bound to have a blast!

5/ Schedule a health check-up.

While it’s not as fun as play time or treats, it’s important for pups to get regular healthcare and annual shots to protect them from disease, so they should see the vet at least once a year. As your pet gets older, more frequent check-ups can help identify any health changes so that they can be treated and managed before they become serious. After all, you want them around for as long as possible.