Monthly Archives

August 2021

Secondary Drowning

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Summer is in full swing, and we all have been enjoying being outside and doing outside activities. We know not to expose our pets to extreme temperatures (e.g. heat), but another danger, which is not as common or well known, is secondary drowning or near drowning. It happens when a pet has been in water (pool, pond or river) and experienced distress, and came close to drowning (hence the name). The situation seems to be under control, the pet has been removed from the water, and has apparently recovered from the situation. Things have calmed down, and the pet is safe – or so we think.

Secondary drowning happens after water (from the pool or body of water) has entered the pets lungs, causing irritation and possibly infection to the lungs (pneumonia). This can happen well after the incident is over, even several days after the incident. This can be just as life threatening. Symptoms to watch for are lethargy, coughing, difficulty breathing, distress and anxiety. Lack of oxygen can lead to rapid progression of these symptoms, and it is important to seek medical help quickly, if symptoms like these are observed in an animal which has been in a dangerous situation in water.

Respiratory distress is a true emergency, and fortunately we have 24/7 emergency centres for pets if it is after hours at your regular veterinary office. Please do not wait to seek veterinary help in a situation like this! The quicker we get help, the better the outcome will be!

Just as important as knowing what to do in an emergency is to take measures to prevent a bad situation. A lot of dogs love to swim, and we have to know their ability as well as their limitations. For boating, life vests for pets are available. Pools can be covered or fenced off to avoid pets falling into them. Making sure we know where our pets are is also helpful, as well as knowing when the limits are reached. It is good to have fun, but it is also important to be aware of possible dangers.

Please contact us with any questions you might have! I hope summer will be enjoyable and safe!

Heat Stress

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How’s everybody’s summer going so far? I hope you had the greatest adventures out there! But hey, it’s not over yet, let’s make sure to enjoy the last few weeks we have!

With the high temperatures, we’re always worrying about heat stress in our pets. We know to not leave them in the car for long periods of time, but did you know that there are many other conditions that could lead to heatstroke as well? Leaving our pets outdoors in hot/humid condition with inadequate shade, exercise in hot/humid weather, and even leaving in a car on a relatively cool day… What you’ll initially notice is a distressed pet, panting excessively and restless. As the body temperature increases, the pet may drool excessively, may become unsteady on its feet, and in severe cases you may see the gums turning purple/blue or bright red due to lack of oxygen.

If you notice any of these signs please call us for assistance, but here’s a few Do’s and Dont’s while you get ahold of us.

DO: Move your pet to a shaded and cool environment with a direct fan on it, if possible take a rectal temperature. You can also place some cool, wet towels over the back of the neck, armpits, and groin region.

DON’T: prevent overcooling the pet, do not force water into your pet’s mouth but have fresh cool water for when they show interesting in drinking, and do not leave your pet unattended.

I hope that helps you guys enjoy the summer without major concerns!

If you have any questions, please give us a call! We’re always here for you.