Sylvan Lake vet warns of dangers around leaving pets in parked vehicles

Sylvan Lake vet warns of dangers around leaving pets in parked vehicles

‘It doesn’t have to be very hot outside… for it to become dangerous,’ says Dr. Sandy Jameson

With the hot summer weather blanketing itself over Central Alberta it is important to remember that your vehicle is not a petsitter.

Dr. Sandy Jameson, veterinarian at Sylvan Lake Veterinary Clinic, says on a 32 C day it only takes 10 minutes to reach a life threatening 43 C inside a vehicle.

She referred to a study by San Francisco State University which showed the temperature in a vehicle can rise rapidly.

“They started at 21 C, so a pretty nice day, and after 30 minutes it became 40 C in that vehicle, so not very long,” explained Jameson.

“It doesn’t have to be very hot outside, or what I wouldn’t consider super hot outside, for it to become dangerous for your pet or anybody to be left in a vehicle.”

The study also found cracking the windows of a vehicle did not make a significant change in the rapid increase in temperature.

“If we’re looking at a day like [July 30] we’re looking at 32 C, I think no pet should be left in the vehicle at any point of time,” Jameson said, “if it’s more temperate like 21 C you’re probably OK with 10 minutes, but honestly I wouldn’t want to risk it.”

She explained the breed of dog will impact how it is affected by the heat as the dogs with the more squished in faces, like pugs, are at a higher risk.

These breeds are compromised when it comes to evaporative heat loss because they have less surface area in their mouth and nasal passages for panting, says Jameson.

Underlying diseases or conditions, such as heart disease or obesity, also play a role in a pet’s ability to temperature regulate.

Milder signs of heatstroke in dogs are excessive panting, restlessness and looking a bit stressed, Jameson said. As it progresses the dog could start to drool a lot with the saliva coming out of their nose and mouth, then they could become disoriented.

In severe cases you could see seizures or they can become non-responsive.

“Looking at their gums as well, when they become really bright red or blue/purple-ish that can be a sign that they don’t have adequate oxygen,” added Jameson.

If your dog is showing any of these symptoms an owner can try to cool down their pet by removing them from hot environments and moving them to a cool environment, placing a wet town in their groin or under their armpit region or using a fan to blow air across them.

Jameson says cool tap water is best as ice will constrict the blood vessels in the skin and reduce the conductive heat loss.

“Putting cool water on their paws is pretty helpful too,” she said. “Dog’s don’t hardly sweat at all, but they will through the pads of their feet, so putting cold water on their feet could be quite helpful too.”

Pets should be taken to the veterinary clinic in moderate to severe cases where they can be further assessed and provided the necessary therapy.

If you see a dog in a vehicle and you are concerned about it, the Alberta SPCA recommends calling the police.

Jeff McBeth, staff sergeant at the Sylvan Lake RCMP detachment, says they discourage people from going to the level of damaging someone else’s property such as breaking car windows.

“Matters such as this are best left to those of emergency services, police, fire and EMS,” said McBeth in an email.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Sylvan Lake vet warns of dangers around leaving pets in parked vehicles

Just Posted

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said the Canadian government should consider sanctions on the U.S. if they refuse to reconsider the decision to cancel the Keystone XL Pipeline. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Keystone XL officially cancelled, Kenney vows to fight on

U.S. President Joe Biden cancelled the presidential permit for the pipeline on first day of office

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said province’s test positivity rate for COVID-19 is steadily declining. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
669 new COVID-19 cases in Alberta, 21 additional deaths

COVID-19 test positivity rate down to 4.5 per cent

Kyla Gibson with her boyfriend Gavin Hardy. (Photo used with permission)
Sylvan Lake couple lose ‘fur babies’ to house fire

‘They were our world and nothing will ever replace them,’ Kyla Gibson said of her three pets

Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw reported an additional 456 COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Five new COVID-19 deaths in Central zone, two in Red Deer

Province reports 456 new cases of COVID-19

Businesses are getting creative to keep cash flowing. (File photo)
Central Albertan lobbying government to help those affected by CERB repayments

Catherine Hay says she received a letter in November saying she had to completely repay the benefit

Lucas Berg, left, with the backpacks filled with essential items he donated to the Red Deer Mustard Seed Jan. 19, 2021. (Photo submitted)
Central Alberta teenager donates filled 20 backpacks to Red Deer Mustard Seed

Lucas Berg, 14, of Ponoka County says he ‘just wants to help people’

A conveyor belt transports coal at the Westmoreland Coal Co.’s Sheerness mine near Hanna, Alta., on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016. Coal mining impacts are already occurring in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains even as debate intensifies over the industry’s presence in one of the province’s most beloved landscapes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
As Alberta debates coal mining, industry already affecting once-protected Rockies

UCP revoked a policy that had protected eastern slopes of the Rockies from open-pit coal mining since 1976

In this Dec. 18, 2020 photo, pipes to be used for the Keystone XL pipeline are stored in a field near Dorchester, Neb. TC Energy Corp. is planning to eliminate more than 1,000 construction jobs related to its decision to halt work on its Keystone XL pipeline expansion project. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Machian /Omaha World-Herald via AP
TC Energy cutting more than 1,000 Keystone XL construction jobs as Biden pulls permit

Some 200 kilometres of pipe have already been installed for the expansion

(Thesendboys/Instagram)
Video of man doing backflip off Vancouver bridge draws police condemnation

Group says in Instagram story that they ‘don’t do it for the clout’

Toronto’s Mass Vaccination Clinic is shown on Sunday January 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Canadian malls, conference centres, hotels offer up space for COVID vaccination centres

Commercial real estate association REALPAC said that a similar initiative was seeing success in the U.K.

Kamala Harris and Joe Biden are sworn into office on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. (Saul Loeb/Pool Photo via AP)
Joe Biden has been sworn in as the 46th president of the United States

About 25,000 National Guard members have been dispatched to Washington

A memorial for the fatal bus crash involving the Humboldt Broncos hockey team at the intersection of Highways 35 and 335 near Tisdale, Tuesday, October 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Liam Richards
‘End of the road:’ Truck driver in Humboldt Broncos crash awaits deportation decision

Sidhu was sentenced almost two years ago to eight years after pleading guilty to dangerous driving

Most Read