Thursday, June 27, 2013

HOT Cars & HOT Feet

Heat Advisory starting now until the end of summer.

Posted by: O Jefferson

!!! REMINDER !!!

The temperatures are rising drastically, especially since it is now officially summer. We've seen, read, and heard TOO MANY stories about pets being left inside of cars, even when it seems to be cool to the person outside. Below, we will explain to you the dangers of leaving your pets inside of hot cars as well as letting them walk on hot grounds.
FACT: Dogs die every summer when it's hot from being left inside of a hot car, EVEN IF the windows have been rolled down and the car is parked in the shade. Shade doesn't do much. Windows rolled down doesn't do much. The heat can and will kill your dog(s). Heat stroke is an unpleasant thing to get and die from. It's not a slow death. Heat stroke begins with heavy panting and difficulty breathing. The tongue and mucous membranes appear bright red. The saliva is thick and tenacious, and the dog often vomits. The rectal temperature rises from 104° to 110°F (40° to 43.3°C). The dog becomes progressively unsteady and passes bloody diarrhea. As shock sets in, the lips and mucous membranes turn gray. Collapse, seizures, coma, and death rapidly ensue after that. Some people think that because it doesn't feel hot to them, it is okay for their pets too. WRONG! Our temperatures are VERY different from that of a dog. EVEN IF the dog didn't have fur, their temperatures are normally 101 - 102 degrees, while ours can be between 97 & 98 degrees. Big difference there. Please educate people on the serious dangers of leaving your pets in hot cars by sharing this message. We've all seen the photos of people breaking car windows to get a dog out of a hot car. In our state (CA), it is LEGAL to break a car window if there is a child or pet inside of a hot car, and from what we've read, there are many other states where this is also legal. The most punishment you will receive, if any, is a fine to fix damages. Jail time is unheard of in this, unless there are other circumstances behind your motives.

How long does it take for a car to get hot inside?

Graph of Temperatures Inside of a Hot Car:

Outside Temperature                                       






Inside Vehicle Temperature

89° after 10 minutes / 104° after 30 minutes

94° after 10 minutes / 109° after 30 minutes

99° after 10 minutes / 114° after 30 minutes

104° after 10 minutes / 119° after 30 minutes

109° after 10 minutes / 124° after 30 minutes

114° after 10 minutes / 129° after 30 minutes


Hot Asphalt Warnings - 

Most people think that since a dog is in fact an animal and once lived in the wild, that they can in fact walk on hot asphalt or hot pavements. FICTION!
FACT: A dog can get burnt from walking even on HOT SAND!

The summer heat and hot sun means there's serious dangers facing dogs in the summertime. Dogs can develop heat stroke and sunburn in the hot weather, but one danger to dogs that's frequently overlooked is the potential for paw pad injuries and burns from walking a dog on hot pavement or sand.

A dog owner could be exposing his/her dog to paw pad injury or severe discomfort from hot pavement or sand on a daily basis without even realizing it!

What's worse, a dog's paw pad injuries are hard to treat. Paw pad cuts, blisters and sores are prone to infection and healing is slow due to the constant pressure placed on the dog's injured paw.

When a dog paw pad injury occurs due to hot pavement or sand, healing can be complicated by the fact that in most cases, all of the dog's pads are injured with burns and sores – it's not a situation where the dog sustains a paw pad injury on just one foot (thereby enabling the dog to limp, which limits pressure to the paw, allowing the dog's pad injury to heal.)

Preventing Dog Paw Injury in the Summer Heat

There are several measures that dog owners can take to prevent burns and injury to a dog's paw pads. Some of these preventative measures designed to prevent pad injuries will also make the dog less vulnerable to other summertime pet dangers, like canine heat stroke and sunburn.

Walk the dog in the early morning or evening to avoid paw pad burns. Avoid walking the dog in the heat of the day, when the sun beats down, heating the pavement and sand.
Walk the dog on the grass. The grass remains cooler than the sidewalk, lessening a dog's chance of paw pad injuries in the summer. This makes a trip to a shady park a good option for an afternoon walk in the summertime.
Take frequent dog walks on the pavement during cool times of day. This will help toughen a dog's paw pads by promoting the formation of callus. This makes the skin of the dog's foot pads thicker and less prone to injuries like burns and cuts. Dogs who rarely walk on pavement will have more sensitive paw pads and they require more frequent nail clippings, as walking on pavement files the dog's nails.
Moisturize the dog's paws on a daily basis. Keep a dog's paws well moisturized with Vaseline® or a special paw pad balm or cream, like Musher's Secret®. Moisturizing the dog's paw pads will prevent cracking, peeling and minor pad cuts. These injuries will cause the dog's pads to become more sensitive once healing is complete, so preventing injury is key.

This is what hot asphalt can do to your pet's feet!

Treating Paw Pad Injuries Like Burns, Blisters and Sores

If a heat-related foot pad injury does occur, owners should take the following measures to prevent infection in the dog's injured paw.

Wash the dog's injured paw pad using antibacterial soap like Dial® and rinse thoroughly.
Pat the injured foot with a clean towel to dry the area.
Pour an antiseptic like betadine (preferred) or hydrogen peroxide over the burned, blistered or cut paw pad and allow the liquid to air dry. (Note: Hydrogen peroxide can damage tissue and delay healing. After the initial cleaning, hydrogen peroxide must be used at half-strength, with 50% water added. This is why betadine is preferred.)
Apply a generous amount of antibiotic ointment to the site of the dog's foot pad injury.
Wrap the paw and ankle with rolled gauze. Roll the gauze in a "figure 8" pattern, looping around the paw and ankle to prevent the bandage from slipping off.
Cover the bandage with a sock, placing a bit of tape around the dog's leg at the sock's ankle to hold the sock in place. The sock will prevent soiling of the foot bandage.
Bring the dog to the veterinarian for an examination. Antibiotics are often prescribed for a paw pad cut, burn or sore due to the high risk of infection.
Typically, bandaging is not recommended for a dog's injury as the limited air flow can promote the growth of anaerobic bacteria. But paw pad injuries are an exception to this rule, as without a bandage, the injured paw pad will be contaminated with bacteria and irritated by debris.

Paw pad burns and cuts are very prone to infection, so visiting the veterinarian is very important. A more thorough cleaning may need to be performed under anesthesia; removal of dead tissue may also be necessary to allow for healing to occur. Antibiotics are often required for complete healing; a visit to the vet is even more vital when more than one paw is involved, which is often the case with foot pad burns.

In the case of a dog with burns (or other injuries) on more than one foot, pain medication may be prescribed since the dog will be forced to walk on injured paw pads. Burns like this in particular are very painful. So please make sure that you think before you act. Feel the ground first for about 7 seconds with your hand, if you can't stand it, then neither will your dog. As stupid as you may think it will look, they do sell shoes for dogs for this very reason. And if your dog doesn't like them, then it's probably best that you just leave him/her at home where it's safe and cool.

For more info on special shoes for your dogs while walking on hot grounds, please visit:

Here is what the special shoes look like through Ruffwear

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