We remain open to provide care for your pets. We are following the direction of government and regulatory authorities and have implemented hospital and visit protocols to keep both you and our team safe. For regular updates on our hours and visit protocols, please follow our social media platforms.

403.948.2733

Overheating Dogs and What to Do About It

It’s that time of year again, where the sun is out and the temperature is hot. It’s tempting to spend all your free time outside soaking in that Vitamin D, and of course bringing along your favourite furry friend, but be cautious; warm temperatures can mean overheating and even possible heat stroke for your dog. No fear though! I’ve provided below, a quick guide on everything heat stroke to better prepare you for the coming summer months.

Risks

While any dog can get heat stroke, certain risk factors make some dogs more likely to overheat, or overheat faster than others. Breeds with long hair, or thick, heavy fur coats, or breeds with short, flat noses (think pugs or bulldogs for example) are more likely to have trouble regulating heat. Other at-risk dogs include puppies or older dogs, and dogs that are obese. If your dog fits any of these criteria, keep an extra watchful eye on him or her.

Signs and Symptoms

The first signs of heat exhaustion include excessive panting, dry and pale gums, excessive drooling and glazed eyes. Sometimes, your dog will start to vomit or have diarrhea, or bloody stool. This can progress to more serious symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, seizures, or cardiac arrest.

Actions to Take

At the first signs of heat stroke, it’s important to take action. Start by moving your pup to a cooler place. If possible, inside where there is air conditioning or a fan.

You can use towels soaked in cool water to cool them down. Do NOT put your dog in an ice bath; this will constrict the blood vessels and trap the heat inside the body.

If your dog is conscious, you can try to give it cool water. Do NOT force your dog to drink water, or else they could inhale the water into their lungs. Instead, you can just wet their tongue if they don’t want to drink. Do NOT feed ice cubes, as it could cool down your dog too quickly and cause shock.

Finally, bring your dog to your veterinarian, preferably giving them a call beforehand, so that they can be prepared when you make it in. If your dog has progressed to more serious stages of heat stroke, it is critical that they are seen as soon as possible.

Prevention

It’s a lot easier to prevent heat stroke from happening, than to treat it after it’s already a problem. Make sure that your dog always has a cool, shady place outside to lie in, as well as a cool source of drinkable water. If your dog is playing or exercising outside, make sure that it gets frequent breaks and proper hydration. On really hot days, strenuous exercise should be avoided altogether.

If possible, take your dog for walks during the cooler parts of the day (this also helps avoid burns to the pads of your dog’s feet due to hot pavement). Finally, don’t leave your pet in your car for any reason, or any amount of time. Factors like being parked in the shade, having the windows rolled down, or just being gone “for a minute,” do NOT matter. Temperatures can still go from comfortable to deadly, in a matter of minutes (and when are people only ever gone for a minute anyway?).

As you can see, if you take the proper preventative measures and make sure always to keep an eye on your pooch, as well as act quickly if you do notice anything, summer should be fun and fulfilling for both you and your best four-legged friend.

Written by Airdrie Animal Health Centre

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COVID-19: Additional measures we are taking

Dear Clients,

Due to the close contact that our work requires, we have taken additional measures to protect you and our team while providing care for your furry family members.

1. We are currently operating a "closed door" policy to protect our clients and staff. This means that clients will not be allowed to enter the building. When you arrive in our parking lot, please remain in your vehicle and call us at 403-948-2733. Our staff will come to you to collect your animal for their appointment. If you do not have a phone, or if your animal is experiencing an emergency, please knock on the door to alert our staff.

2. We are still OPEN with the following hours:
Monday to Friday: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Saturday and Sunday: CLOSED

3. At this time, appointments will only be booked when medically necessary. Any non-urgent appointment requests will be temporarily postponed. If you have an emergency that requires immediate attention, please proceed directly to McKnight 24 Hour Veterinary Hospital at 5010 – 4th Street NE, Calgary, AB and call 403-457-0911 to alert them of your arrival.

4. If you are ordering food or medications, please allow 2-4 business days as our suppliers are dealing with increased demand and are trying to fill orders as quickly as possible. We will advise you as soon as your order arrives. Please call us when you arrive to pick up your order, but do not enter the hospital. Our staff will bring your order to your car. You can also use our online store and have your food delivered directly to your home. To sign up for the Online Store, please visit our website.

5. For the time being, credit cards are the preferred payment method. Debit cannot be accepted over the phone, but is available at time of pick up if ABSOLUTELY necessary. We will not be able to accept cash.

Following the recommendations of our government and medical experts, we are doing our best to practice social distancing within the constraints of our jobs. We have taken these measures to avoid both contracting and facilitating the spread of this virus.

Thank you for helping us be diligent for everyone's safety. As we have heard from all levels of government, the situation is fluid, and any updates will be provided as changes occur.

- Your dedicated team at Airdrie Animal Health Centre