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Mississippi Heat Wave Threatens Pets

By Jeffrey Hess | Published 10 Aug 2011 05:22pm | comments

Mississippi is once again under a heat advisory today (thurs), with temperatures expected to break triple digits. Health officials are warning Mississippi to drink plenty of water and stay cool. MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports that the heat poses a deadly threat to man's best friend.

Dogs have a hard time cooling their body because they cannot sweat, and have to rely on panting to deal with 100-degree days.

Jackson Veterinarian Dr. Leon Dale says the extreme summer heat can kill dogs.

"The number one problem is the heat stroke. And with the heat stroke, they go into renal failure and other organs shut down. A lot of people don't realize that. A lot of time times the dog heat strokes today and you cool him down and three days from now you have secondary that are life threatening," Dr. Dale said.

Dr. Dale says excessive panting is one key sign that a dog is struggling with the heat, and could be experiencing heat stroke.

He says it is vital to provide plenty of water and shade or to bring the animal into an air conditioned building to prevent heat stroke.

In addition, Dr. Dale says owners need to limit a dog's activity during the day because a playful dog might not realize it is over heating.

Bear is a one year old black German Sheppard. He pants even though he is standing inside the air conditioned vets office.

Thomas Dunbar is Bear's owner. He says he makes sure his pet has plenty of ice cold water and shade.

"He has water outside 24/7. Sometime we put ice in the water to cool it down a little bit, just take a pitcher of ice and throw it in there. He just rests in the shade all day. It is only bad a couple hours of the day. He has water all the time, so he doesn't move around or get hot," Dunbar said.

Cats can also suffer from heat conditions, but it more commonly affects dogs because of their natural willingness to play and exercise with people even in hot conditions.





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