The Dangers of Heat Stroke: Remembering Golden Retriever Charlie

Not long ago I wrote an important post about summer health tips.  The first tip was this:

! Dogs should not be left in parked cars! Hyperthermia can be fatal. Even with the windows open, a parked automobile can quickly become a furnace in no time. Parking in the shade offers little protection, as the sun shifts during the day.

It is a very important fact and when I see folks’ disregard for it, I want to take away their rights to have a canine family member. I am not one for being vindictive but I do believe in being held responsible for our actions. Would you lock your dog up in a car in the blazing heat? Well, this woman here did just that, in Texas no less, with the recorded heat in the car where her poor Golden remained measured at 135 degrees.

I hope we learn whether this dog survived. I just cannot imagine such heartlessness and cruelty.

Seagese was arrested on animal cruelty charges, and she was taken to the Pinellas County Jail. Animal control workers responded to care for the dog.

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This gorgeous guy is Charlie. It was such a sad day when I learned about his loss due to heat stroke. Go learn his tale as it is an important one for all dog lovers to know. And, then be sure to follow these important dog summer safety tips. It could save a very precious life.

Dog Summer Safety Tips

! Dogs should not be left in parked cars! Hyperthermia can be fatal. Even with the windows open, a parked automobile can quickly become a furnace in no time. Parking in the shade offers little protection, as the sun shifts during the day.

! Dogs should not ride un-tethered in back of trucks standing on hot metal. If they need to be transported, they should be in carriers or kennels.

! Dogs should not ride in your lap in the front seat. Special leashes can keep dogs safe in the passenger or back seat, check with your local dog store.

! Don’t leave your dog standing on hot asphalt, sensitive paw pads can burn. Keep walks during hot times to a minimum. AND, steer clear of any areas you think may have been sprayed with insecticides or other chemicals.

! Do not apply any sunscreen or insect repellent product to your dog that is not labeled specifically for use on animals. Ingestion of sunscreen products can result in drooling, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy. The misuse of insect repellent that contains DEET can lead to neurological problems.

! Heavy metal chains are not good for securing your dog, which can conduct heat and severely injure your dog.

! Watch dogs around bodies of water, not all dogs are great swimmers. Many apartment complexes have pools, which can be very dangerous for dogs. Even those dogs who can swim may not be able to get out of a pool that has high sides. Ensure that your dog knows how to get out by the stairs should s/he fall into the pool. Dogs may also drink the chemical-heavy pool water, so keep track of your dog at all times if you’re near a swimming pool.

! Dogs should have access to fresh water, food and shelter at all times. This is a must! Never leave your dogs without water for any length of time, and always bring water with you on long walks or car trips.

! Be especially sensitive to older and overweight animals in hot weather. Brachycephalic or snub-nosed dogs such as Bulldogs, Pugs, Boston Terriers, Lhasa Apsos and Shih Tzus, as well as those with heart or lung diseases, should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.

! Provide shade for your dogs if they’ll be spending time out of doors. Temperatures in the shade can be up to 10 to 15 degrees cooler than temperatures in the sun. Dogs do not sweat; they can only release body heat by panting, which is not an efficient cooling method.

! Watch your dogs carefully when playing in warm weather as they have difficulty releasing body heat. S/he may be so enthusiastic about playing or exercising that they continue to do so even when they are already overheating. Your dog’s physical limits may be different from mental ones, so you need to refrain from over-exercising or over-stimulating your dog, particularly in hot weather.

! Identification tags are critical – make sure your dog has one, especially with the summer holidays ahead. Should your dog be spooked by fireworks or firecrackers, you’ll stand a better chance of your dog being returned because you loved them enough to provide an I.D. tag.

! If your dog becomes overheated, you must lower the body temperature immediately. Move your dog into the shade and apply cool (not cold) water all over the body to gradually lower the temperature. Apply ice packs or cold towels to your dog’s head, neck, and chest only. Let your dog drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes. Administering electrolytes can also aid the rehydration process. When in doubt, contact your veterinarian for assistance.

Some signs of heat stress include heavy panting, glazed eyes, increased pulse, unsteadiness, a staggering gait, vomiting, or a deep red or purple tongue. If your dog is dehydrated, its skin will lose elasticity and “tent,” or remain in place, if you pull it away from the body. Under normal conditions, the skin should move back immediately. Dehydration slows the rate of return. Other symptoms of dehydration include dry nose and gums, sunken eyes, delayed capillary refill time (the time it takes the gums to become pink again after applying pleasure). If your dog shows these symptoms, you will probably want to take it to a veterinarian immediately. Severe cases of dehydration often require the administration of intravenous fluids.


Have a Safe Happy Summer!

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5 thoughts on “The Dangers of Heat Stroke: Remembering Golden Retriever Charlie

  1. I so hope this Golden will recover. And that he is taken away from that cruel idiot of an owner.

    Last August I found a dog locked in a car in full sunlight in Florida at noon time. It was on the military base I work at. I called the police and told them if they didn’t arrive in 3 minutes, I was going to break a window and get the dog out. Thankfully, they arrived promptly and quickly found the owner who said he was just picking up his records from the Dental Clinic. But he didn’t even park in the shade or near the Gulf where you at least get a breeze. And didn’t open the windows. I don’t know if they charged the guy, but at least the dog was OK. I’m not sure how long the dog was in the car, but you never know how you might be delayed, and cars become furnaces in a matter of minutes.

  2. The story that was printed is incorrect. People should not be allowed to print something until someone has been convicted and the facts are correct. To start off, the dog is and was perfectly fine!
    Alison is one of my best friends and she loves her dog more than words can describe. She has a clean record, was released quickly and handed back her healthy dog immediately- it was NOT in animal control’s custody ever. Her car was air conditioned at 59 degrees and she went into the store for 5 minutes as seen on the store video not 20! They took the temperature readings an Hour after she got back to the car. This is so unbelievable that the kindest and most loving person anyone could every meet has to deal with this incorrect media information. Also, I reiterate-she loves her dog more than anything in this world. There are people that can be used as an example of a cruel animal owners but Alison is definitely NOT ONE of them!

  3. To “Anonymous” I don’t believe a car would stay at 59 degrees in the full daytime mid-Florida summer sun. And what if the car battery failed? Or ran out of gas? You just don’t leave your dog locked in a car during the day in the summer in full sun when you live in Florida period.

  4. The chargers were dropped 9/10/07. The Largo Police department lied in their statement, the officers are now under investigation. Daisy never left Alison side, Daisy is now enjoying our brand new Siberian Husky Puppy Skyler!
    The animal control never took Daisy, and took the temp. of the car 1hr 15mins afterwards, according to security camera’s.

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