Monday, July 15, 2013

Connecticut veterinarian talks about keeping pets safe in heat wave

Info shared on signs of canine heat stroke 
BLOOMFIELD - As Connecticut residents brace for a week of dangerously high temperatures and humidity, a veterinarian at the Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation has some important safety reminders for dog owners. 
Dr. Mary Craig, DVM, a Fidelco board member and founder of Gentle Goodbye Veterinary Hospice, shares the “dos and don’ts” of canine heat stroke.

Know the signs and risks of heat stroke:
Symptoms include panting, increased heart rate, lethargy, drooling, fever, vomiting and seizures. Heat stroke can cause permanent organ damage and death. 

Dogs at elevated risk include breeds with shorter noses such as Pugs and Bulldogs; dogs that are overweight or dealing with heart or lung disease; and puppies and senior dogs.

What to DO:
If you suspect your dog is suffering from heat stroke, move him or her to shaded and cool environment, and direct a fan on your dog. Begin to cool the body by placing cool, wet towels over the back of the neck, in the armpits, and in the groin region. You may also wet the ear flaps and paws with cool water. Directing a fan on these wetted areas will help to speed evaporative cooling. Transport to the closest veterinary facility immediately.

What NOT to do:
DO NOT use cold water or ice for cooling.
DO NOT attempt to force water into your pet’s mouth, but you may have fresh cool water ready to offer should your pet be alert and show an interest in drinking.
DO NOT leave your pet unattended for any length of time.
DO NOT EVER leave any animal in a hot car for any reason or any length of time under any circumstances.

Dr. Mary Craig, veterinarian
About Dr. Mary Craig, DVM
Dr. Craig has served on the Board of Directors for the Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation since 2010. She is a graduate of three University of Minnesota colleges. 
She earned an MBA in Marketing & Strategy from the Carlson School of Management; a DVM degree from the College of Veterinary Medicine and a BS degree in Animal Science from the College of Agriculture. Dr. Craig worked in private practice in Nebraska, Minnesota and Wisconsin. She is the Founder and President of Gentle Goodbye Veterinary Hospice & At-Home Euthanasia in Stamford, Connecticut.

About Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation
Fidelco is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization based in Bloomfield, that breeds, trains and places its own, unique “breed within a breed” of German Shepherd Guide Dogs with men and women who are blind. Each Fidelco Guide Dog costs $45,000 and takes two years to produce. They are given to clients at no cost. Fidelco provides 24/7 client support for the entire working life of its guide dogs – typically 10+ years. Fidelco relies solely on the generosity and financial support of individuals, foundations, corporations and civic organizations to help Share the Vision®.

Fidelco has placed over 1,300 German Shepherd Guide Dogs throughout North America – in 41 states and five Canadian provinces. Fidelco pioneered “In-Community Placement” in the United States — a process that allows guide dog users to be trained in the communities where they live and work.
Fidelco has also placed hundreds of its German Shepherd Dogs with law enforcement agencies; first responders; search and rescue; and missing child recovery organizations to help protect our fellow citizens and keep them safe.  

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This post is from a press release from Heidi Voight,  Director of Communications, Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation.

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