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Tech Talks by Emily Harbury

Effect of High Temps and Dogs:

Welcome to summer in North Central Washington! Our summers get hot, often in the triple digits during the summer months. Here is some information about what you can do to recognize and avoid heat exhaustion or heat stroke in your dog.

The normal internal temperature of a dog ranges from 99 to 102 degrees Fahrenheit. Dogs are largely unable to sweat as humans do to help reduce their temperatures. Dogs can sweat a little through their foot pads, but they mostly regulate their body temperature through panting, which dumps excess body heat by evaporation of water from their tongues rather than through their skin.

In order to keep cool through panting, dogs need a good airway. Brachycephalic dog breeds (boxers, pugs, etc.) often have a narrow windpipe relative to other dogs of comparable size. This is a condition known as “tracheal hypoplasia”. For example, English bulldogs often have a trachea that would keep a Yorkie quite happy, but for the bulldog, it must be like breathing through a coffee stirrer. When we intubate brachycephalic dogs for surgery (which involves placing a soft, plastic tube into their trachea to deliver oxygen and anesthetic gases) they often wake up with the tube in place after the procedure and seem quite happy to have an open and bigger airway for the first time in their lives. As a safety measure we leave the tube in longer than for their mesaticepahlic (equal length of skull and nasal cavity) counterparts because of this tracheal constriction.

Heat exhaustion generally happens in high temperatures. We should all be aware by now that a car can quickly turn into an oven for a dog trapped inside. High temperatures and outdoor activity can lead to problems, too. We, as dog owners, must be aware of the activity we are asking of our dogs. Though brachycephalic breeds, overweight or heavy bodied dogs are generally at more risk, even a well-conditioned mesaticepahlic dog who runs for extended amounts of time in high to moderate heat can suffer from the effects of heat.

Signs of heat exhaustion, the last step before heat stroke, include bright red gums, lethargy and loud, raspy panting. If you notice these symptoms; take a break in the shade, offer water, and douse the dog’s feet with cool water. If you’re out on a hike, hunker down in a cool area. If your dog responds to the break, wait until later in the day to continue.

Dogs that are going into heat stroke often vomit, become unable to get up and can have explosive diarrhea. Once heat stroke develops, cooling them down is the top priority but it often is not enough. Some dogs will go down the slippery and tragic slope into multi organ failure and be unable to be saved, even with days of ICU level care.

Prevention is the key to guarding your dog against the effects of heat. If you think your dog is suffering from heat stroke or exhaustion, douse them in cool water, get them out of the heat and calmed down, and head for the nearest veterinarian without delay. Even a few minutes can make all the difference in the world.

More information available at:
www.americanheartwormsociety.org

From the PawPrint Editor

This past weekend, I drove to Spokane for a duck herding demonstration with my Border Collie, Ted, and a tricks demonstration with my aging Beagle, Baby. Unfortunately, I’d discovered only a few days previously that Baby, at the golden age of 13 years old, had almost completely lost her hearing. A tricks demo would be a challenge, to say the least.

That evening, as we practiced a few basic tricks, her eyes sparkled as she followed my hand signals and her tail wagged in pure joy. Yet somehow, it just wasn’t the same – I knew she couldn’t hear my voice as we went through the motions. We no longer were able to communicate with words.

As I lay in bed that night with my best friend curled up beside me, I decided to scratch the tricks demonstration the following day and just let Baby relax. I knew she loved performing, but I wasn’t willing to risk the “ifs” – what if her nose carried her away, and because she couldn’t hear my voice, I wouldn’t be able to call her back? What if hand signals weren’t enough and she became confused and frustrated and decided to quit? Perhaps selfish motives prompted the decision.

Nonetheless, the next day Baby relaxed while Ted took the spotlight for a brief herding demonstration. I knew Baby would have loved to steal that spotlight, despite the pouring rain. The decision to leave her at my apartment to sleep and enjoy the peace ‘n’ quiet was a tough choice. The silent bond between us was as strong as ever, and yet it wasn’t the same. I hated to face the fact that Baby wasn’t young anymore.

I know my furry, four-legged best friend won’t live forever – and maybe it’s selfish of me to wish she would. I don’t want to face life’s storms without her. A tear trickles down as I stroke her long, velvety hound ears and recall the countless memories.

I know somewhere in the future I’ll have to say good-bye, but for now I’m going to stroke those ears. Her face has faded to white, but the dance in her merry little paws and sparkle in her eyes still light up a room. And next time the two of us have the opportunity to show off and steal the spotlight, people will stop to watch as we strut our stuff once again.

Guest PawPrint Editor: Katie Jourdan

Upcoming Events

Membership Meetings: Last Monday every month. Karen Hall has some GREAT programs lined up.

  • August 13, 8-noon - Eastmont Park Wag n’ Tails
    Dog Day at the Park - Eastmont Community Park 4-
    Plex (we will have agility courses)
  • August 13, 5-7PM - Wenatchee City Pool Dog Paddle Swim - 220 Fuller Street
  • Oct 14-16 - WKC Agility Trial - Confluence Park
  • Oct 21-23 - WKC Dog Show, Rally and Obedience Trials - Chelan County Fairgrounds

Got a good idea for a program (vets, activities, interesting things)? Call Karen Hall and let her know!

*If you would like to bring refreshments for any of the club meetings, please contact Jan Flatten at jbflatten@charter.net.

Want to Add Photos or Videos to the Website?

Photos and videos are a welcome part of the clubs website. Here are some of the ways in which you can get us your photos/videos.

Skydrive (7GB Free Space): http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/skydrive/download

Google Drive (15GB Free Space): http://www.google.com/drive/

I can add video to the web site. Send me an email at jkoski@nwi.net if you would like to add a video. Or if it's on YouTube, sent me the YouTube link and I'll put the video up on the site.

Agility Practices at Cindy's

Agility practice in Moses Lake 5/7/16 at 9:00am

I will have my agility field open for practice and/or play, 5/7/16 at 9:00am. I will plan on practice this Saturday, snow or no snow. If possible, please let me know if you think you might be able to make it, if you plan to come. I don't want to set up a course if no one shows. Plus, I don't want to waste firewood........ If you want to contact me, please phone or text me at 771-1892, please do not email me, as I only am able to access the Internet at my neighbors house once or twice a week. Hope I see you, playing in the snow can be fun! The dogs don't care! Cindy T and the determined dobermans

We will be joining in with the Ephrata/Moses Lake members. Hope some of you can come. If any one has anything specific they want to do, they can email me (cindydobermom@gmail.com) and I can try to set something up. My address is 5703 Mae Valley Rd. NE. If anyone needs directions let me know and I can post them again. A small fee of $5.00/dog is appreciated to help with the maintenance of the field and agility equipment.

 

 

 


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