Tuesday, July 19, 2011

HOT Dog!

I experienced a very unexpected situation with one of my basenjis this weekend. We are just getting into the hot + sunny part of summer up here in Vermont. Like most basenjis, mine ADORE sunbathing and do very well in the heat. If I were to build a bonfire on a hot summer day, they would probably sprawl out next to it! I am a responsible dog owner, I make sure my dogs have water and shade outside -- heck, they even have a beach umbrella out there! I also make sure they are inside during the hottest parts of the day. But I learned this morning that even a responsible owner and a sun-worshiping African dog can find themselves dealing with mild heat exhaustion.

As a result I would like to provide a friendly reminder to my basenji friends out there that even our sun-loving and heat-seeking basenjis can be susceptible to heat exhaustion -- and it happens FAST! Below are excerpts from a website that I found to be simple, to the point, and helpful (http://www.suite101.com/content/signs-of-overheating-in-dogs-a113296). And (thank my lucky stars) after cooling her down my sun-loving girl is back to her goofy + energetic self! :)

Warning Signs:
  • Profuse and rapid panting
  • Bright red tongue
  • Thick drooling saliva
  • Wide eyes with a glassy look
  • Lack of coordination
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Coma
  • Crying LOUDLY or appearing panicked and in pain (I added this one)

How to Cool an Overheated Dog

  • Place the dog in cool, but not cold, water
  • Take the dog to air conditioning
  • Sponge his head, tummy and area between the legs with cool water
  • Wet his tongue
  • Turn a fan on him
  • Offer small amounts of cool water to drink every few minutes if he is conscious

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for posting about this important topic, and I'm so glad that your girl (Miss Toni Terrific?) is recovering! The weather this summer, and right now, in southwestern Ohio is oppressively hot, with excessive heat advisories, watches and warnings almost every day, and I know some areas of the U.S. are much worse off than we are here. You ( I ) wouldn't think that a breed from central Africa would be susceptible to heat related illness/distress, but I guess it's all relative to what the individual is accustomed. I try to be very careful with my 2 elderly BRATs, but we MUST go for walks several times a day. I live in a condo, so there's no yard. Grounds to walk on, yes, but only on leash, of course. And it takes a while for bladders and bowels to be emptied, so we walk. My walking is pretty unsteady, so I generally prefer to walk on pavement, but not when it's this hot. The walking helps keep them in great physical condition, and much more calm indoors, but I have to be especially careful not to keep Jello (11 y.o. trindle male) out in the heat too long. He's very good about finding EVERY available shady spot in which to floomp down. Leeny (14 y.o. r/w female) doesn't seem to be affected as much by the heat, but she's learned that resting in the shade is a good thing. Sometimes I even get some shade! Thanks again! (and the referenced web page is excellent, in my opinion.)

    Vicky Locke
    Fairfield, Ohio