Mascot death highlights dangers of heat for pets

Friday, August 3, 2012 - 10:06am

The Louisiana Tech community is still mourning the loss of its beloved mascot, a 4-year-old English bulldog named Tech XX. The mascot died Sunday evening at a Ruston animal clinic after a worker left the dog outside for too long. Local veterinarians say this sad case highlights the dangers that triple-digit temperatures pose for our pets.

A dog's normal temperature is right around 102 degrees. Anything over 106 can lead to fatal complications. "It's very damaging for the brain and the organs, the internal organs," said Dr. Valri E. Brown of the Dog & Cat Clinic in Shreveport. Certain breeds are also more vulnerable during the summer months, especially bulldogs, pugs and other breeds with small nasal passages. "It's difficult sometimes for these dogs to get air and it's difficult sometimes for those dogs to breathe normally, just because of the anataomy," said Dr. Brown.

There are a few tricks to keep your dog cool and safe, though. Vets recommend bringing dogs inside if the temperature gets too high, especially if the animal isn't used to outdoor heat. If you do leave your pet outside, be sure they have plenty of shade and water. Dogs that are very active are more likely to suffer from heat stroke, so be sure to check their activity level and access whether they need extra care.

If you believe your dog is suffering from heat stroke, contact your vet immediately. They may need medication in order to cool down safely and avoid brain damage.

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