We hope everyone has a very safe and happy July 4th holiday! There are some particular problems that occur more commonly around this time so I wanted to mention them and help you try to avoid them.
Heatstroke: I discussed this in a previous blog post so you can look back there for more details. Here are the important points: Make sure your dogs have access to shade and water and avoid exercising them in the heat. If they are overweight, have heart or respiratory problems, or are a short-faced breed like a pug or bulldog then make sure to keep them inside away from the heat. Signs of heat stroke include heavy panting, reduced alertness, weakness or inability to walk, and a high body temperature usually over 106 degrees. If you suspect your pet has heatstroke wet them with room temperature (NOT cold) water, put a fan on them and take them to an emergency clinic for further treatment.
Fireworks: Many pets are scared by loud noises like fireworks or thunder. If your pet doesn't like these noises, make sure to contact us BEFORE the holiday so we can help you manage them. An easy solution is to use oral melatonin which has some mild anti-anxiety and sedative effects. Benadryl has some mild sedative effects but is usually not strong enough to help much. Other treatments include sedatives like acepromazine and other anti-anxiety medications. Sometimes putting a shirt or sweater on them can calm an anxious dog.
Table food: Everyone loves a good July 4th cookout, but the burgers, hot dogs, and barbecue should be for you and your human friends but not for your dogs and cats! When pets eat people food they can suffer from vomiting, diarrhea (who wants to clean that up?), and even a potentially life-threatening condition called pancreatitis. Bones can cause intestinal obstruction, perforation, or even cause painful constipation when the bones are partially digested and lodge in the colon. Dogs tend to be pretty sneaky so make sure they don't have access to trash cans and make sure all your party guests know not to feed your pets, or they will surely fall victim to Fluffy's puppy dog eyes and give her a steak!
Have a great day off and we hope not to see you tomorrow!