Vet says hot, humid days dangerous for furry friends – June 19, 2012

Fox 2 News HeadlinesVet says hot, humid days dangerous for furry friends

Vet says hot, humid days dangerous for furry friends

Posted: Jun 19, 2012 7:26 PM EDT
Updated: Jun 19, 2012 7:31 PM EDT
By Ronnie Dahl – email

Dr. Karen Fidell with Oakland Veterinary Referral Services (Credit: WJBK |

Julie Aponte’s four-legged friends gets plenty of attention in this hot weather.

“We give them their bowls of waters.  Sometimes we add ice in them.  We put them in the pool or, if not, we bring out the little water hose and we wet them.”

But not all dogs are so lucky.

“We look for dogs that are in trouble,” said Cindy Merz, a volunteer with the Animal Care Network.

Tuesday, she was on a mission.

“We look for dogs that don’t have any food or water, especially water in this heat.”

Merz’s SUV was loaded with supplies —  water, food and extra bowls.  She and her crew of volunteers hit the streets Pontiac searching for pooches in need.

“These three dogs today didn’t have water and so we filled them up with water.”

“It only takes two or three minutes for the body temperature to rise to dangerous levels,” said Dr. Karen Fidell with Oakland Veterinary Referral Services.

She sees a lot of pet emergency and told us extremely hot, humid days are especially dangerous to our furry friends.

“The only way dogs have to cool themselves is by panting, and so they’ll start panting when they get hot, but after awhile that whole cooling mechanism becomes ineffective and then their body temperature rises very quickly and they go into what we call heat stroke,” Fidell explained.  “You want to watch for excessive panting, dogs or cats having difficulty breathing, being very restless, agitated.  They can’t kind of settle down.  Sometimes they’re very weak.  They can’t get up.”

As a longtime volunteer, Merz has come across dogs that have died due to heat exposure.  Despite the heartbreak, she returns giving of herself to help an animal that can’t help themselves.

“It’s very hard because you want to do something. You can’t turn away.  You can’t walk away, and there’s only so much you can do right now anywhere.  I just try to help.”

If you notice your dog or your cat having signs of a heat stroke, what should you do?  Get some water and cool them down.  Get them inside.  Go ahead and maybe if you have some ice cubes, feed them ice cubes.  Anything to get their body temperature regulated.

Also, don’t have your pets in the car on a hot day, not even for a minute, not with the windows cracked. That one minute and your pet could be dead.

link to video:


Michigan Humane Society: Hot Weather Pet Safety

Michigan Animal Adoption Network

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