24 Jul Dog Days of Summer
The heat in Athens, Georgia is intense. The term ‘dog days’, having nothing to do with our canine friends, reflects the period 20 days before and after the dog star, Sirius is aligned with the sun.(generally July 3 -Aug 11). Nevertheless, the extreme heat is a problem for most animals. Although the coat of cats and dogs are welcomed warmth in winter, the hair coat can cause extra heat in the summer. Heatstroke can be fatal.
Heatstroke is hyperthermia …excessively high body temperature. The normal temperature of dogs and cats range from 100-102 fahrenheit . When a dog is unable to decrease body temperature fast enough by panting or by sweat glands in pads, the core temperature will rise . High body temperature will cause collapse of the individual and if not treated, seizures and death.
Treatment consists of reducing the core body temperature by saturating the dog with cold water , alcohol baths of feet,and moving the animal out of the warm environment. Seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Prevention is a common sense approach to the heat. Provide shade and water at all times. An excitable dog needs to confined indoors. Walks need to be limited to early morning hours.