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Protect Your Pets During the Dog (and Cat) Days of Summer
Date:6/18/2009

PurinaCare offers pet owners tips on avoiding heatstroke and other warm weather ailments

SAN ANTONIO, June 18 /PRNewswire/ -- PurinaCare(R) Pet Health Insurance (www.purinacare.com), which is committed to help pet owners provide a lifetime of care for their dogs and cats, is urging all pet owners to be more aware this summer about the dangers of heat exposure. Pet emergency clinics receive several cases of heatstroke each week during the summer months. Dogs and cats of all breeds are sensitive to the effects of heatstroke and can fall victim to it in less than one hour, yet many of the symptoms may not be obvious to the average pet owner.

WHAT PET OWNERS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE HEAT:

  • Dogs and cats do not sweat - the only way they can get rid of excess heat is through panting.
  • Exercise with your pet before the heat of the day. Limit activity on hot days.
  • Working breeds, long-haired breeds, pug-nosed breeds, obese animals and enthusiastic dogs are especially vulnerable to heatstroke.
  • The daily rule for water is: Provide one ounce of water for every pound the animal weighs.
  • Family outings with the pet: Provide water in a bowl before any activity and frequently during the day. If you're thirsty, so is your pet.
  • Never leave an animal outside without access to plenty of water and shade. If it is too hot for you to be outside, it is too hot for your pet as well.
  • Never, ever leave an animal in an unventilated vehicle. Period.
    • The temperature inside a closed car will reach over 100 degrees in 10 minutes on an 85 degree day. In 30 minutes, the car will reach 120 degrees or more.

SIGNS OF HEATSTROKE IN YOUR PET:

  • Standing listless or lying on its side unresponsive
  • Very rapid panting or hyperventilating
  • Have thick, ropey saliva hanging from the tongue and mouth
  • Gum tissue and lips will be tacky and dry
  • Gum color will be blood red in early stage and turn grey-blue as shock sets in
  • Seizures or coma occur as the brain overheats

If you suspect your pet is suffering from heatstroke, cool your pet's head and body with room temperature water and take your pet to the veterinarian immediately. If left untreated, it can lead to prolonged hyperthermia and cause irreversible brain and kidney damage.

Information provided by:

William H. Craig, DVM, Chief Medical and Underwriting Director of PurinaCare(R) Pet Health Insurance.

About PurinaCare Pet Health Insurance

PurinaCare Pet Health Insurance is dedicated to providing pet owners with a lifetime of health and wellness for their pets. PurinaCare Pet Health Insurance is a licensed insurance agency under PurinaCare Insurance Services Inc. - a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nestle Purina PetCare Company. Nestle Purina PetCare Company and PurinaCare Insurance Services Inc. promote responsible pet care, humane education, community involvement and the positive bond between people and their pets. For more information about PurinaCare Pet Health Insurance, go to www.purinacare.com


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SOURCE PurinaCare Pet Health Insurance
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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