ENCINITAS–A quick stop at a convenience store on a hot day can be deadly for a dog, child, elderly person, or others with medical issues.
Rancho Coastal Humane Society is reminding San Diegans not to leave pets or people in a hot car even for a few minutes.
“High temperatures can kill. Common sense can save a life. The temperature in a closed vehicle can rise as much as 30 degrees in less than 2 minutes. In the time it takes to go into a store and buy a loaf of bread, the temperature in your vehicle can become deadly,” Rancho Coastal Humane Society spokesman John Van Zante said.
“Most of us know that it gets really hot in a closed vehicle,” says Van Zante. “Unfortunately the temperature rises much higher and much faster that we realize.”
Dogs don’t sweat. They pant. When they can’t pant fast enough, and when the air is near 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 Fever.
If you believe your dog is suffering from heat stroke, hose it down with cool (not cold) water then rush it to the nearest vet (even if it’s not your regular vet.). If its body temperature stays above 105 degrees, damage to the major organs (brain, heart, kidneys, liver) occurs.
Don’t take chances. Do not leave people or pets in a car on a hot day.