Protecting Dogs From Heatstroke

Editor, News-Register:

Every year, thousands of dogs die from being overheated inside parked cars.

On a mild 73-degree day, the temperature inside a car can reach 120 degrees in 30 minutes. On a 90-degree day, the interior of a vehicle can reach 160 degrees in just a few minutes. Heatstroke can come on quickly and result in brain damage or death.

Dogs are prone to fatal heatstroke because they can only coo themselves by panting and sweating through their paw pads.

If you see a dog left in a car, take down the car’s color, model, make, and license-plate number. Have the owner paged inside nearby stores, and call local humane authorities or the police (911). Have someone keep an eye on the dog. If police are unresponsive or too slow and the dog’s life appears to be in imminent danger, find a witness (or several) who will back your assessment, take steps to remove the suffering animal, and then wait for authorities to arrive.

If you see a dog showing any of the following symptoms, get him or her into the shade immediately and call the veterinarian. The symptoms include restlessness, excessive thirst, a rapid pulse, heavy panting, lethargy, lack of appetite, dark tongue, rapid heartbeat, fever, vomiting, or lack of coordination.

Ms. Lynnette Adams