Hot Dogs

No-one in their right mind would leave a dog in a car in this horrendous heat, yet people still do so and the RSPCA can be called to vehicles to retrieve animals in distress.
I remember fatalities at a car boot sale in Hampshire in the 1990s, one woman driving off with her two dead collies in the back. I approached one woman at the same site a few weeks later who intended to leave her dog in the car in sweltering heat, and her response to my concerns was unprintable.

When out walking Maggie down to the marina at 9pm last night for her final wee, she chased a cat and stopped when I yelled NO! after two bounces. She then coughed twice, staggered sideways and collapsed.

I thought she’d had a stroke or a heart attack, but as she was conscious if a little confused when I got to her, I discounted that, but knew I had to get her home quickly.
Bugger that final wee.

As I carried her, I talked to her all the way and she didn’t struggle.
I shouted for Hubby through the window as I couldn’t open the front door, and when he opened it, he took her from me. We got her into the kitchen and tried to get her to drink, but she didn’t want any. In fact she hadn’t drunk or eaten very much all day.

Looking up Heatstroke in Dogs on the internet, she had none of the listed symptoms, so Hubby cupped his hand, filled it with water and thrust it under her nose. He kept doing this as she was smacking her lips and licking him, so at least he was getting some fluid into her.
If there had been any outward sign that she was suffering from heatstroke, we would have called the vet immediately, but she wasn’t panting, her gums and tongue were normal in colour, and her eyes were bright.

We then looked up Overheating in Dogs, and this is what we think had happened.
Combined with the extreme heat yesterday (it’s even hotter today), her lack of food or fluid intake and a quick exertion, her body couldn’t cope and so she keeled over.

The website suggested that to assist in cooling her down gently, her armpits, groin and underbelly were sprayed with cool water. This seemed to do the trick, and within half an hour she’d perked up a little and was on her feet.
Hubby continued with his fist of water and we made her some weak slightly sweetened tea which she did polish off.
By 11pm, she was ready to walk unassisted out for the aborted wee and then bedtime.

This morning, she is much better and during the day has drunk 2 ‘cups’ of tea and some water, plus eaten some of her dinner and a couple of dog biscuits.
We took her to the vet this morning, explained what happened last night and what we’d done to help her, and she was given a thorough going over.
She’s lost a little weight, but is still within the acceptable range for her breed, and her tongue and gums are healthy. Her heart is strong, the beat constant in her groin, under her front legs and chest, and there is no trace of a murmur.
The vet agreed that it was probably overheating, but if it happened again, we were to take her back.
She is an older dog (now 12) and her arthritis is bound to get the better of her these days. The metacam we give her (a half dose) is sufficient to give her relief when she needs it, but it is not a daily dose, and should it become necessary to give her painkilling medication more frequently, there are alternatives.

Walks today and the next couple of days will be short and at cooler parts of the day.
The temperature in the conservatory is almost 100º F (37.5º C), so we have shut the kitchen door to keep the heat out of the house, and Maggie has settled under the table on her cushion where it is relatively cool. The downstairs loo door is open, and it’s nice and cool in there as there are no windows should she want to go in.
At least she’s eating and drinking today, her breathing is regular and she’s more steady on her feet.

Hubby, MSM and I are all uncomfortable in this heat, which was due to break today and hasn’t.  It just goes to show that the heat can affect our pets in the home as well as outside or in a car, and we need to be extra aware.

Pictures taken on the boat:  left May 2015 and right May 2016


About pensitivity101

I am a retired number cruncher with a vivid imagination and wacky sense of humour which extends to short stories and poetry. I love to cook and am a bit of a dog whisperer as I get on better with them than people sometimes! In November 2020, we lost our beloved Maggie who adopted us as a 7 week old pup in March 2005. We decided to have a photo put on canvas as we had for her predecessor Barney. We now have three pictures of our fur babies on the wall as we found a snapshot of Kizzy, my GSD when Hubby and I first met so had hers done too. On February 24th 2022 we were blessed to find Maya, a 13 week old GSD pup who has made her own place in our hearts. You can follow our training methods, photos and her growth in my blog posts. From 2014 to 2017 'Home' was a 41 foot narrow boat where we made strong friendships both on and off the water. We were close to nature enjoying swan and duck families for neighbours, and it was a fascinating chapter in our lives. We now reside in a small bungalow on the Lincolnshire coast where we have forged new friendships and interests.
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14 Responses to Hot Dogs

  1. scifihammy says:

    Oh poor Maggie! And such a shock to you both too, coming out of the blue like that.
    I’ve had this happen to one of my dogs once, Madam, and it wasn’t even that hot. She got over excited at some guinea fowl and then 10 metres farther on pretty much collapsed like Maggie.
    It was a long walk home, but I decided to carry her rather than tie her up and leave her, and go back with the car, as she’d have been even more stressed watching me walk off with the other 2 dogs!
    Once home my daughter and I got the hose out and drenched her. She picked up quite quickly. Like you I got her checked at the vets immediately, but she was fine by then.
    The up side of this was that Madam was super nice to me for several days after this! (She tended to be aloof and a bit snappy!) I think she was just so grateful I didn’t leave her when she was helpless.
    I hope it gets cooler there for you and Maggie doesn’t do this again. The warning signs are very subtle – sometimes they are just a bit quieter! If only they could talk!

  2. Poor sweet girl! That is hot! We were hot last week into the weekend but it broke. It’s pleasant now. Our cats are not very active when it’s so hot. As soon as the weather broke, Gracie brought out her feather and wanted to play. Sure hope all is well with Maggie. *hugs to you all*

    • Thanks Kate. She is definitely more like her old self today, but still hot. It’s just been announced that today has been the hottest June day since 1976. Where is this rain they forecast? Certainly nowhere near us.

  3. In the summer I keep a small bat in my car. I have personally broken the windows on three cars, twice for dogs and once for a baby. I live in California. Today’s temperature is a balmy 107 degrees. The toddler was strapped into a car seat, screaming his lungs out and beet-red, streaming sweat. Five minutes later the paramedics I called arrived, and ten minutes later a woman came out of the Safeway nearby, yakking on her phone. She immediately began to scream, “Who broke my window? Who’s going to pay for that? I wasn’t gone that long!”
    Seriously, people, remember that we are humans and should have some humanity.

  4. joyroses13 says:

    Glad that Maggie is OK and doing better. Hope she keeps improving! Glad she had you 2 to take quick action and help her.

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