Friday, July 29, 2011

Summer Heat Dangers for Dogs

Coco and River near Coco's private "beach"

We all know how dangerous excessive heat can be for all of us, especially for dogs who are dependent on us for their safety.

Coco has her own sandbox and swimming pool under a big shade tree and I refresh the water several times a day. This, in addition to daily trips to the river, however, still weren’t enough….

Coco developed sores on the tops of her ears. Right in the crease where the ears are attached to her head bone, there were perfectly round, quarter-sized raw circles. At first I thought she’d just rubbed her head on something. I washed the raw skin and put antibiotic cream on the sores. But after a few days without any improvement, I realized it was more than that.

I took her to the doctor.
“Those are hot spots,” he said.

The doctor then explained that the raw circles on Coco’s head were particularly vulnerable to the sun and were therefore “weaker”. This made them attractive to flies that were actually eating away her fur and skin!

The doctor gave me a fly-repellant ointment to keep on her ears and an antibiotic pill to fend off infection. Coco didn’t seem to be in pain, but general discomfort from the incessant heat.

Healing is slow because the heat is still relentless, but at least she is getting better. Every morning when I let her out of her crate, I am happy to see the sores are no longer red, are getting smaller, and are developing a healthy scab.

Moral of the story: in this unreasonable heat, keep your dogs in the shade; keep them hydrated; and keep the flies away!

Further Reading:

Hot Spot Remedies

Summer Heat and Heath Hazards for Pets

No comments:

Post a Comment