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Preventing and Treating Heatstroke in Dogs

Unlike humans who sweat, dogs eliminate heat from their bodies by panting. When panting isn’t enough, a dog’s body temperature rises, and they can experience heat stroke, which can become fatal if not treated immediately.

What causes heat stroke in dogs?

Any hot environment can cause heat stroke in dogs. The most common cause is careless action by a pet owner, like leaving a dog in a car or forgetting to provide water and shade when they are outdoors.

Some dogs are more prone to heat stroke than others. Dogs with thick fur, short noses or those suffering from medical conditions are predisposed to heatstroke. Even dogs who enjoy constant exercise and playtime should be closely monitored for symptoms of heat stroke, especially on hot and humid days.

What are the symptoms of dog heat stroke?

The most telling symptom of heat stroke in dogs is excessive panting. Other symptoms may include signs of discomfort such as drooling, reddened gums, vomiting, diarrhea, mental dullness or loss of consciousness, uncoordinated movement, and collapse. 

Heat stroke in dogs can indicate a serious medical problem and cause unseen problems, such as swelling of the brain, kidney failure, intestinal bleeding and abnormal clotting of blood. For this reason, immediate veterinary care is highly recommended. 

What should I do if I think my dog has heat stroke?

Call your veterinarian or the nearest emergency animal hospital and tell them you are on your way. On the way to the veterinarian, travel with the windows open and the air conditioner on.

Until you can get to the veterinarian, be sure to:

  • Remove the dog from the hot environment immediately.
  • Do not give the dog aspirin to lower its temperature and can lead to other problems.
  • Let your dog drink as much cool water as they want without forcing them to drink.
  • Cool your dog off with cold water by placing a soaked towel on their back.
  • Wet their paws with cool water.

How will the veterinarian treat my dog’s heat stroke?

With cases of heatstroke in dogs, treatment will include intravenous fluid therapy to replace fluids and minerals. 

Your veterinarian will also monitor your dog for secondary complications such as kidney failure, development of neurologic symptoms, abnormal clotting, changes in blood pressure and electrolytes abnormalities. 

How can I prevent my dog for developing heat stroke?

As a pet owner, it is important to be aware of the outside temperature and take appropriate measures to prevent heat stroke, especially during hot and humid conditions.

When outdoors, always make sure your dog is in a well-ventilated area with access to plenty of water and shade.

While traveling in cars, make sure that your dog is kept in crates that has good ventilation, and never leave your dog in a car with the windows closed.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet’s condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

If your dog is showing any signs of heat stroke, contact Red Lodge Veterinary Clinic right away.

 

Credit for this article goes to Memphis Veterinary Specialists & Emergency

Equine Educational Seminar – Emergency and Urgent Care for the Horse Owner – May 13th, 21

Dr. Casey Gruber and his team at Red Lodge Veterinary Clinic are excited to offer another complimentary equine seminar in beautiful Red Lodge, Montana on Thursday, May 13.

Joining Dr. Gruber will be Dr. Luke Bass, DVM, MS, DCVP (Eq.) – Head of the Equine Field Services Department at Colorado State University, bringing his valuable knowledge to our seminar.

The topic this year will be on emergency and critical care for the horse owner. We will be discussing scenarios that you may find yourself in as a horse owner, such as colic, lacerations etc. We will discuss what you can do right away, what materials you should have on hand and how to explain the injury to your veterinarian over the phone while awaiting care. You do not want to miss this!

The seminar will be held at the banquet room upstairs at the Bull & Bear Saloon downtown Red Lodge. Doors open at 6:00 pm and the talks will start at 6:30. 

We will be providing hors d’oeuvres and drinks. We look forward to an evening of networking and providing valuable information to our fellow horse owners. RSVP soon to ensure a seat! 406-446-2815  or redlodgevet@gmail.com

 

Thank you to Boehringer-Ingelheim and MWI Animal Health – Amerisource Bergen for once again sponsoring this valuable evening to allow us to offer it FREE of charge to our local horse owners.

 

 

Equine Dental Month – February 2021

In February we will once again be offering a 20% discount on equine dental floats. In-clinic appointments only. Call us today 446-2815 to reserve your spot.

EQUINE DENTAL HEALTH:

Horses with dental problems may show obvious signs, such as pain or irritation, or they may show no noticeable signs at all. This is because some horses simply adapt to their discomfort.

For this reason, periodic dental examinations performed by your equine veterinarian are essential to your horse’s health. It is important to catch dental problems early. If a horse starts behaving abnormally, dental problems should be considered as a potential cause. Waiting too long may increase the difficulty of remedying certain conditions or may even make remedy impossible.

Look for the following indicators of dental problems from the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) to know when to seek veterinary attention for your horse:

 

  1. Loss of feed from mouth while eating, difficulty with chewing, or excessive salivation.
  2. Loss of body condition.
  3. Large or undigested feed particles (long stems or whole grain) in manure.
  4. Head tilting or tossing, bit chewing, tongue lolling, fighting the bit, or resisting bridling.
  5. Poor performance, such as lugging on the bridle, failing to turn or stop, even bucking.
  6. Foul odor from mouth or nostrils, or traces of blood from the mouth.
  7. Nasal discharge or swelling of the face, jaw or mouth tissues.

 

Oral exams should be an essential part of an annual physical examination by your veterinarian. Every dental exam provides the opportunity to perform routine preventative dental maintenance. Mature horses should get a thorough dental exam at least once a year, and horses 2 –5 years old should be examined twice yearly.

Call us today! 406-446-2815

COVID-19 – Update January 12, 2021

We are looking forward to this new year, and hope to get back to our regular operations as soon as possible while maintaining the safety of our clients and staff. 

All of us at Red Lodge Veterinary Clinic are so thankful for our clients’ trust and flexibility. 

Our doors are still open to give our clients the option of accompanying their pet/horse inside the clinic/equine exam room for their exam and treatments. We will continue to require masks or face coverings for anyone entering out facility over the age of 5. We are following the rules set out by our Governor – Montana Mask Mandate 2021 

We are still reducing the amount of traffic into the building to one client / patient at a time. Please see our new protocol below:

WHAT TO EXPECT – Large and Small Animal appointments:

Small animal clients, please park beside the clinic closest to the front of the building.

Equine and large animal clients, please drive around the cul-de-sac at the end of the road and park your trailer in the gravel parking lot.

When you arrive, please call the clinic 446-2815 to let us know you are here.

We will ask if you would like to come in for your appointment, wait in the vehicle, or drop off your pet and come back at a later time.

As before, if you would prefer to wait outside or drop off, Dr. Gruber will discuss exam findings either in person (outside) or by phone. We will then proceed with treatments as decided by you and Dr. Gruber. 

If you accompany your pet into the exam room, we will have our technicians and Dr. Gruber handle your pet, to reduce close contact with multiple clients. We will maintain a 6ft distance from you as best as we can. We will continue cleaning high traffic areas, door handles, counter tops, merchant machines etc. between each client to help reduce transmission. 

MEDICATION / FOOD PICK-UPS:

When you arrive, please call the clinic 446-2815 to let us know you are here. We will let you know if you can come in and get them (if the reception area is clear of other clients / patients). If not, we will bring them to your vehicle as before. 

We can take payment over the phone and are still accepting credit cards, cash or checks.

We appreciate your cooperation as we all do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses. Please call the clinic if you have any questions or concerns 406-446-2815. We look forward to getting back to ‘normal’ and  “Together We Can Do This!” 

COVID-19 Update September 24, 2020

Again, we are so thankful for our incredible community and each and every one of our clients for being so flexible and understanding with our curbside-only service for the last few months.

That being said, we have once again opened our doors to give our clients the option of accompanying their pet/horse inside the clinic/equine exam room for their exam and treatments. 

We are still reducing the amount of traffic into the building to one client / patient at a time. Please see our new protocol below:

WHAT TO EXPECT – Large and Small Animal appointments:

Small animal clients, please park beside the clinic closest to the front of the building.

Equine and large animal clients, please drive around the cul-de-sac at the end of the road and park your trailer in the gravel parking lot.

When you arrive, please call the clinic 446-2815 to let us know you are here.

We will ask if you would like to come in for your appointment, wait in the vehicle, or drop off your pet and come back at a later time.

As before, if you would prefer to wait outside or drop off, Dr. Gruber will discuss exam findings either in person (outside) or by phone. We will then proceed with treatments as decided by you and Dr. Gruber. 

If you accompany your pet into the exam room, we will have our technicians and Dr. Gruber handle your pet, to reduce close contact with multiple clients. We will maintain a 6ft distance from you as best as we can. We will continue cleaning high traffic areas, door handles, counter tops, merchant machines etc. between each client to help reduce transmission. 

MEDICATION / FOOD PICK-UPS:

When you arrive, please call the clinic 446-2815 to let us know you are here. We will let you know if you can come in and get them (if the reception area is clear of other clients / patients). If not, we will bring them to your vehicle as before.

We can take payment over the phone and are still accepting credit cards, cash or checks.

We appreciate your cooperation as we all do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses. Please call the clinic if you have any questions or concerns 406-446-2815. We look forward to getting back to ‘normal’ and ‘Together, We Can Do This!”

Water Intoxication – Hyponatremia

 

During the heat of the Summer, many pet owners turn to sprinklers and a trip to the lake to cool off their dog. A hidden danger of playing with water is Water Intoxication, an uncommon emergency illness to become familiar with.

What is it?

Water intoxication, also known as hyponatremia is a relatively rare but potentially fatal condition caused from ingesting excessive amounts of water. 

When your pup is playing with water, whether diving into a lake or river to retrieve a ball or biting at a hose or sprinkler for long periods of time, they can inadvertently ingest a large volume of water very quickly. This is possible if they drink an excessive amount after exercise as well. 

Excessive amounts of water will dilute their body’s electrolytes causing alarming and even fatal electrolyte imbalances. The cells in their body will begin to swell with water. If the cells in their brain swell, their central nervous system will become affected and can result in seizures, coma and even death. 

Symptoms include:

  • loss of coordination
  • lethargy
  • bloating
  • vomiting
  • glazed eyes
  • excessive salivation
  • difficulty breathing
  • seizures
  • coma

Water intoxication can progress very quickly. If your pet has been playing with water and begins to show any of the above symptoms, please contact your veterinarian immediately or take them to the closest emergency facility.

Treatment:

Aggressive treatment at a veterinarians office may include IV delivery of electrolytes (sodium/chloride), diuretics and medications to reduce brain swelling. These treatments are used to reduce swelling of the brain and cells, but in severe cases some patients symptoms cannot be reversed. 

How can I avoid it?

Make sure your dog takes regular breaks from the water play. If they drink their whole water bowl quickly after exercise, wait until they are settled before refilling. 

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call us at 406-446-2815. 

COVID-19 Update – June 30th, 2020 – Curbside Service

As always, the safety of our clients, staff and patients is at the forefront of everything we do at Red Lodge Veterinary Clinic.  We are so fortunate to be healthy and able to serve you and your animals to the best of our abilities.

In order to continue to do so we will once again be offering curbside-only service until further notice. We truly appreciate your business and have your best interests at heart.

What to expect:

We will follow the same format as we did previously for our curbside service, please see below. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call us at 406-446-2815.

Small Animal Visits

What to expect:

Please stay in your vehicle and call us at the office, (406) 446-2815, when you arrive to the clinic. We will come out to your vehicle and bring your pet in for their examination and treatments. Dr. Casey Gruber will discuss the exam findings and treatment options (if applicable) by phone. Once we are done, we can collect carside/curbside payment at that time, or can process payment over the phone. All medications, products or food will be brought to your vehicle.

Equine In-Clinic Visits

What to expect:

When you arrive, please stay in your vehicle and call the clinic at (406) 446-2815. We will come out and bring your horse to the exam room. Dr. Casey will discuss the exam findings and treatment options by phone. When we are done, we will bring your horse back to your trailer. We can collect carside/curbside payment at that time or take payment over the phone. We will bring all prescription medications or products to your vehicle.

Medication Refills, Food or other Products

One of our team members will bring your products out to your vehicle when you arrive.

Please call ahead to give us time to get your products ready, and also when you arrive.

If you have any questions, please give us a call at (406) 446-2815 and we will address any concerns you may have.

Thank you for your understanding,

Red Lodge Veterinary Clinic