Warning: Rise in canine heatstrokes

Dog owners need to take extra precautions during the summer months to keep their canines cool.

Animal Emergency Center on Manchester Expressway reported a rise in canine heatstroke victims this week and urge residents to know what to do if your best friend exhibits heatstroke symptoms.

Know the signsThe signs of canine heatstroke are: excessive panting, pale gums, bright red tongue, disorientation, increased heart rate, thick saliva, vomiting, collapsing, body temperature of 105 degrees or higher.

Treat your dogCall your local emergency dog clinic, explain the situation and perform the treatment they suggest. In addition, make sure your dog is out of the sun and has access to water, but not too much water. Hose the animal down, but make sure the water isn't too cold. Take him or her to a cool area. Pat the dog down with cool, wet towels. Do not leave the wet towels on the dog, though.

Who's at riskPuppies and older dogs are most prone to heatstroke. Overweight and sickly dogs are at risk too. Dog breeds with short faces — bulldogs, pugs, Boston Terriers, Shar peis— have respiratory systems that get easily overwhelmed in hot and humid conditions. Double coated breeds such as chows also have a hard time in the heat. Malamutes, Huskies and Newfoundlands, all of which are bred for the cold, are also at risk of heatstroke.

PreventionDon't leave your dog confined in a car, kennel or crate. Try to excersie the animal in the early morning or later in the evening. Try to keep dogs indoors during the day in a well ventilated or air conditioned room. If the dog is outside during the day make sure he or she has access to cold water and a shaded area.

Call Animal Emergency Clinic at 706-324-6659 for more information.