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CA Heatstroke Claimed The Life Of A 3-Year-Old Pug

A 3-year-old Pug died, after it was found trashing on the side of the road in Coachella Valley in California. The cause of death was not known to be a hit-and-run car accident but a heatstroke, due to the unbearable heat California had been experiencing recently. The temperature that day reached a high of 116 ºF when the dog was found by 2 animal control officers on Avenue 70 near Windward Drive in Mecca at about 3 pm on Wednesday, June 16th, 2021. 

The western United States has been experiencing record-breaking temperatures in the triple digits for the past several days due to heatwave exacerbated by prolonged years of drought.

The small dog was taken to the Coachella Valley Animal Campus and administered with fluids and placed on ice packs but the dog was unable to be stabilized by the veterinarians. It was later decided to humanely euthanize the Pug. The dog’s temperature reached a high point of 109.4 ºF, a little over the normal of 100 to 102 ºF.

Hot Weather Tips For Dogs

Animal Service Director, Julie Bank, stated that this tragic incident is completely avoidable. She urges dog owners to take extra precautions when temperatures and humidity are at the extremes. Giving your pets plenty of fluids and keeping them in the shade should be emphasized, as well as, avoiding too much exercise.

The owner of the Pug remains unidentified, as there is no dog tag or a microchip to locate the dog’s owner and residential address.

Riverside County Chief Veterinarian, Dr. Sara Strongin, stated that the short-nosed breeds like French Bulldogs, Pugs, Boxers, and Boston Terriers are prone to heat strokes. Their small air passages cannot sufficiently cool air or release heat when in a very warm and humid temperature.

Also, dogs should not be carelessly left inside the car unattended for too long. Dr. Louise Murray, Vice President of the ASPCA Animal Hospital, stated that a car parked outside on a hot day can become a furnace, even with the windows open. Leaving your pets in these conditions is not only hazardous but illegal in CA and in other States.

Cautionary Advice On Heat Related Issues

Signs of overheating pets include excessive panting, drooling, difficulty in breathing, vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate, bright red gums, confusion, loss of consciousness, and collapse.

When your dog is having a heat stroke, immediately remove it from the hot environment and give it plenty of water to drink but without forcing it. Apply icepacks on its back or soaked towel to cool it off and proceed to your vet as soon as possible.

Treatments include intravenous fluid therapy to replenish lost fluids and minerals. The vet will also look for possible kidney failure, neurologic disorders, abnormal clotting, variations in blood pressure, and unusual levels of potassium and sodium. 

An important thing to remember in preventing heat strokes is making sure that your dog is in a well-ventilated area with enough shade and drinking water. Also, when traveling, make sure never to leave your pet unattended and alone inside the car for a long time.

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