Summer heat in Los Angeles can be brutal and if your hot, your dog/s are hot.
Did you know that dogs are much more susceptible to heatstroke than humans?
The obvious reason: their fabulous fur and the fact they do not sweat on any part of the body that is covered in fur. They only have sweat glands on their cute little feet. They count on panting, they release excess heat this way and this cools down the body.
It is our job to keep our dogs cool and comfortable in the heat.
In an effort to keep your dog cool you may give them some ice to chew or put some cubes in their water bowl. Sounds logical? NO!!! Ice, ice water or very cold water can cause severe muscle spasms that result in bloat.
There are many opinions on this subject, but I thought I would share this information just in case:
Please read the following letter.
This was posted on another board with permission to cross post in the hopes
of saving another dog from having to go through this awful experience.
After showing our dogs we went back to our site/set up and got the dogs in their
crates to cool off. After being back about 30 minutes I noticed the water bowl was low on
water. I took a hand full of ice from my cooler and put it in his bucket
with more water. (Note: I use a small Playmate cooler at ringside with ice
water in it also. Have for over 15 years now)
I have an 18 foot trailer with AC and set up, as a rolling kennel. After checking the dogs and thinking
they were cooled off enough we fed everyone. As we were walking around
removing the feed dishes from the crates, one of my friends stated that one of our dogs
seemed like he was choking. I went over and checked on him and he was dry
heaving and drooling. I got him out of the crate to check him over and
noticed he had not eaten. He was in some distress. I checked him over from
head to toe and did not notice anything. I walked him around for about a
minute when I noticed that he was starting to Bloat. I did everything I was
taught to do in this case. I was not able to get him to burp, and we gave
We jumped on the golf cart to take him down to the show vet only to find out that
he did not have a bloat kit on hand. He referred us to the clinic that was to be on
call, but the clinic was closed. Finding another clinic that was open we rushed him in and they were ready and waiting for us.
They got him stabilized very quickly. After he was stable and out of distress we transported him to AVREC where he went right into surgery . They wanted to make sure no damage was done to any of his vital organs. I am very happy to say no damage was done to any vital organs
In surgery the doctor found that his stomach was in its normal anatomic
position. The Doctor and I went over the events of what happened up to the
point of the Bloating. When I told him about the ice water he asked why I
gave him ice water, I told him my history behind this practice and his reply was "I have been very lucky for the past 15 years." The ice water I gave him caused violent muscle spasms in his
stomach which caused the bloating.
Dr. Vogf stated that giving dog's ice to chew or ice water is a big NO, NO; there should be no reason for them to have ice or ice water. Normal water (room Temp.), or cooling with cold towels on the inter thigh is the best way to help cool a dog. How Dr. Vogf explained it to me was like this:
If you, as a person fall into a frozen lake what happens to our muscles?
Think about that, and then compare that to your dog's stomach.
I felt the need to share this with everyone, in the hopes that some may
learn from what I went through, I do not wish this on anyone. Our baby is home
now and doing fine. He does not like the fact that he has to be walked on a lead in the yard to keep him from running and he hates not being able to go out and rough house with the others, but he needs to heal and be calm.
So please if you do use ice and ice water, beware.
Bloat is the second leading killer of dogs after cancer. A dog with a bloating stomach has a short time to live without emergency veterinary intervention.
A little information about Bloat
BLOAT can occur in two forms: gastric dilatation (swelling of the stomach from gas); or, gastric dilatation with volvulus, i. e., torsion, which occurs when the stomach twists on its axis. Often, both forms of bloat occur in a single episode with the second form quickly following the first. When this happens, BLOAT is fatal in minutes. BLOAT is also known as gastric dilatation-volvulus or GDV.
Tragically, the majority of dog owners have never heard of BLOAT. Typically, an owner awakens in the morning or returns home from work and finds dead his/her, otherwise healthy, dog. As dog owners rarely have an autopsy performed, the cause of death is never determined, and the owner never learns about BLOAT. Most canine diseases (e. g., cancer, hip dysplasia, etc.) progress over weeks, months or even years, not minutes. The dog owner has the opportunity to notice that his/her dog is not feeling well and has time to take the dog to the vet to begin a course of treatment. Along with the treatment the owner learns about the disease.
With BLOAT, the disease progresses in minutes or, at most, hours. The only treatment is emergency medical attention. In its two advanced forms, the only treatment is surgery. Symptoms of BLOAT may include:
• excessive salivation/drooling
• extreme restlessness/pacing
• unproductive attempts to vomit/defecate
• evidence of abdominal pain (whining and tenderness in the stomach area)
• abdominal distension
• rapid breathing/panting
• cold/pale mouth membranes
There is alot of information available on line and if you have a large dog i would suggest you do your homework.
So just a word to the wise, rather be safe than sorry, I won't be giving my dog ice anymore
Glad your baby is doing great.