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Colorado Vet Urges Owners To Attend To Their Dogs Properly In The Blistering Heat, Particularly The Brachycephalic Breeds

(CBS4) — We're not even into the dog days of summer yet, but experts are urging Coloradans to keep a close eye on our canine companions.

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Dr. Kerri Nelson, Medical Director of Veterinary Emergency Group, told CBS4's Mekialaya White that her team inevitably sees an uptick in heat-related visits as temperatures sizzle.

"Especially when it's higher risk breeds," Nelson said. "When we've got our brachycephalic breeds, which is a fancy word for smooshed face dogs, those dogs do not have the ability to get rid of heat like dogs with a nice, long, normal nose."

So, owners should keep an eye out for symptoms like excessive panting.

"Sometimes we'll see things like vomiting, diarrhea, or bruising when a dog is having a heat stroke. You should hose your dog down with lukewarm water, not cold water. Then, put a fan on them, put your AC on."

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Paw burns can also happen in as little as a minute on a 140-degree surface like asphalt or pavement; it takes five minutes in a 120-degree surface. That's easily feasible with temperatures in the high 90s.

"For things like farmers markets, for instance, people are taking their dogs, and lot of those are out on streets. And lot of those are black asphalt. It can burn up their little feet. So, either putting booties on top to keep their feet safe or making sure they're walking on grass or dirt or something along those lines, that's going to be the best idea. Err on the side of caution. I also recommend walking them very early in the morning or very late at night 5-7am and then again at night at 8 or 9 o'clock."

And Nelson says the best choice if you're uncertain: Take your dog to an emergency vet.

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