Saturday, September 27, 2008

Precautions for Beach Dogs

Animal Hospital of Nags Head

Dear Pet Owners, 

Welcome to our beautiful Outer Banks. Please take a few minutes to read over this article and it's precautions as we want your vacation to be as enjoyable as possible! Regardless of the type of dog you have, they will find much pleasure and joy running on the beach and into the water. Be careful on days when the waves are especially rough, for dogs can get injured and sometimes drown if you let them get too fatigued.

 Activities like throwing a tennis ball or retrieving an object floating in the water can cause breeds like Golden Retrievers and Labradors, who are especially prone to overheating, to become fatigued very quickly.

 Another problem we see is that some dogs find sand fascinating - they dig and play in it, and sometimes they eat it - No Kidding! If dogs eat enough sand, it can obstruct their GI tract and they will develop severe vomiting. This is called a "Sand Colic" and the diagnosis requires simple x-rays that show the sand as it collects in the small intestines. This problem can be fatal if not treated, but treatment is almost always successful.

Heat Exhaustion - Very Serious! Every summer we see several dogs die from this condition. Did you know that on a 95 degree Fahrenheit day, in a parked car (even with the windows cracked); temperatures can increase to 130 degrees Fahrenheit in just ten short minutes! Please remember this when you run into the store for 'just a few minutes to grab a drink.' If for some unfortunate reason you do witness an animal that is suffering from heat exhaustion, medical help MUST begin immediately!

On your way to the closest veterinarian's office, use wet towels with cold water to lie across your pet to help cool him. If Available, Put ice under the dogs' neck and in the groin area to help cool the blood flow to the body and back legs, by cooling the blood the internal organs are in less danger of being damaged. It is critical that the cooling process begin before you reach the vet's office, because this greatly increases our chance of treating and hopefully saving your dog. 

In closing, have a great vacation; but remember that by far the number one disease on the beach is the 158 By-pass. Please keep your dog safe on a leash or confined in your house so that everyone has a wonderful vacation here on the Outer Banks!

Barrett Welch DVM (Retired)
Animal Hospital of Nags Head (Sold)

This article was published by Pampered Pets Guide
in Vol.6 page6

(Renamed business at this location January 2020 Sound Veterinary Hospital)

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