SIGNS Rapid, shallow breathing or panting; blue tongue, bright red gums; lethargy, inability to walk, staggers; vomiting or convulsions; glazed eyes; and most obviously fevers in excess of 103° F.
TREATMENT Submerge in cold water (in a tub, lake, stream, pool, etc.) but be sure to support the head above water, or dog may drown due to weakness. Ice cubes in a wet towel or plastic bag placed on underside of dog and over neck and shoulders is also effective. The idea is to get the temperature down below 103° F. When this is achieved, transport to vet ASAP.
AVOID leaving dogs in cars in the sun, or for any prolonged time on a hot humid day; leaving dogs unattended in a yard that has no shade; exercising too much on a hot day, especially if the dog is old or unfit. (Exercise in the early morning and/or early evening when it is cooler.)
ALWAYS have fresh cool, or cold, water to drink available at all times.
Some Norfolks love to swim; if you have the room and don't mind a wet friend, the plastic "kiddie" pools are perfect for our four-legged friends to keep cool. Don't forget to provide some sort of shade in the yard. Wooden platforms, under which they can dig a hole, can be an alternative to no shade. We recommend bringing the dogs indoors on really hot days.
Joan Read and Bee Ege
ANTIC, Summer, 1994
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