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3 Hidden Heat Hazards

The dog days of summer are here. For many, this season comes with endless possibilities for having fun with your pets, like picnics, nature walks, and swimming pools. But, as temperatures rise, so do the risk factors for heat and summer-related dangers. We want to share with you some of the hidden hazards associated with summer activities that pets and their owners adore.

Blue-Green Algae During scorching hot summer days, dog owners often plan walks that include water sources to keep their pets cool and hydrated. However, many freshwater ponds and lakes can host dangerous blue-green algae, which are actually microscopic bacteria called "cyanobacteria" that thrive in temperatures above 75º. These algae are highly toxic and can cause seizures, neurological damage, liver failure, and death in pets. To prevent pets from becoming sick, owners should never let them drink from water sources with green scum on top, provide fresh water from home while on walks, rinse them off after swimming, and avoid unsupervised exploration of freshwater ponds and lakes.

Leptospirosis, a bacterial disease that affects both pets and humans, is caused by bacteria found in contaminated water and soil, and is commonly spread through urine. It can cause flu-like illness and damage to the kidneys, liver, and other organs, and can be fatal for young, senior, or immunocompromised pets. Leptospirosis can infect pets almost anywhere, including dog parks and yards, and can be prevented by avoiding unknown water sources, preventing pet exploration of areas frequented by wild mammals, and vaccinating against the disease.

Hyperthermia or heat stroke is a hidden killer that can happen to dogs and cats, leading to organ failure and death. Pets with short snouts, senior or overweight pets, and those with thick coats are more susceptible. To prevent heat stroke, provide cool water, shade, and avoid exercising during peak temperatures. If your pet shows signs of overheating, bring them to an air-conditioned location, provide cool water, wrap them in a damp towel, and call your veterinarian.

Make a splash, have a blast, and have fun in the sun! Just remember protecting your pet takes a bit of proactive planning but can be the difference between life and death. We hope these tips help keep your furry family members safe all summer long.

👩‍⚕️Kyra Marsigliano, DVM & Katie Green, DVM

📱 : (904) 436-PETS (7387)




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