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Old 05-22-2009, 03:31 PM   #1
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Default [News] In a Hot Car, ‘Just a Minute’ Can Be Deadly for Dogs

If you've ever left your dog in the car for "just five minutes" on a summer day, the officers of the Washington Humane Society want you to hear some cautionary tales.

"They all say the same thing: I never thought that this would happen," says Mitchell Battle, deputy director of humane law enforcement at the Washington Humane Society. "I was only going to be gone for two minutes."

But just running inside for a quick errand can be deadly to your pet even if the weather isn't all that hot.
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In one fatal incident Battle responded to, the temperature was only in the 70s. A woman stopped at home, parked in the shade and came out after what she said was 15 minutes. By the time officers got there, the shade had moved, turning the car into what officer Eve Russell calls "a solar powered Easy-Bake oven."

Everyone's opened a car door and been amazed by how much hotter it is than outside but you may not realize exactly how hot a car can get. Check out the numbers at the Web site mydogiscool.com, a program of United Animal Nations. When it's 72 degrees, a car in direct sun can reach an internal temperature of 116. Even in the shade, a car can be 10 to 20 degrees hotter than outdoors, and cracking the window has almost no effect.

Veterinarian Cate Rinaldo, a volunteer with United Animal Nations, points out that dogs don't have sweat glands all over their bodies like humans do, so the main way they can cool off is by panting, which isn't very efficient.

Once a dog's body temperature gets over about 106 normal temperature is around 101 the result is "everything from nerve damage, heart problems, liver damage, systemic organ failure, and it happens fast, within a matter of minutes," she says.

Summer is also vacation season, and the Washington officers are often called to cases where people travelling with their dogs tried to use the car to extend their stay by a few hours.

"They check out of their hotel at noon and they still want to go to the zoo or a museum, and they leave Fluffy in the car," says officer Ann Russell.

Remember that one more museum isn't worth the risk to your pet's life and that cars are not the only place where dogs can get overheated. Rinaldo says that before she was a vet and knew of the dangers, one of her dogs collapsed from heat exhaustion after playing off-leash on a 75 degree day.

That dog survived, but not all are so lucky. One 90 degree day in the San Bernadino mountains, Andy Hoodward of Orange, Calif., was flagged down by a couple carrying their dog in a backpack.

"The woman explained that they had set out hiking in the morning but a couple of miles in, the dog had become lethargic, unresponsive and would neither walk nor drink," says Hoodward.

The couple were also in bad shape, and Hoodward drove them to a ranger's station, but it was too late for the dog, which died on the trip.

And officers say anyone can be the victim of inattention or miscalculation. Officer Ann Russell tells of one woman who worked with autistic children and was a volunteer guide dog puppy raiser "the most responsible person you can imagine," she says. In an emergency with one of the children, the woman accidentally left a puppy in a car and it died.

Even indoors, it can get too hot for some animals. Battle tells of an elderly, overweight beagle that died of heat exhaustion in his own home; sadly, the house did have central air conditioning but the owners hadn't left it on since there were no people home.

Be especially careful if you confine your dog to a crate or one area of the house and he's not free to seek a cooler spot. If you leave your dogs outside, even on a patio or deck, make sure they have shade all day and remember that the sun moves. Use a tarp or awning to shade the spot, and perhaps reconsider whether your dogs might be happier indoors.

"Go out there barefoot and step on the concrete where your dogs are," says Battle. "It's not as comfortable as you think it is."

In hot car, ?just a minute? can be deadly for dogs - Pet health- msnbc.com
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Old 05-24-2009, 09:46 AM   #2
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Thankyou for this, it was a really good article and definitely makes me think.
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Old 05-24-2009, 11:57 AM   #3
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Excellent information...Thankyou.
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Old 05-24-2009, 01:22 PM   #4
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FE - thank you for this very timely reminder.
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Old 05-24-2009, 02:40 PM   #5
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Excellent article Thank you so much.
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Old 05-25-2009, 05:45 PM   #6
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Thank you for posting this. Very informative.
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Old 05-25-2009, 06:32 PM   #7
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Excellent information... many do not realize just how hot it is at times.. and we must always think of the furbutts... anne
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Old 05-25-2009, 10:08 PM   #8
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Time for another letter to the Editor
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Old 05-27-2009, 02:51 PM   #9
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Thanks for sharing such an informative article! We would never leave Teddi in the car, but I didn't realize that even playing too much in a moderately warm weather could be lethal as well!
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Old 05-27-2009, 03:45 PM   #10
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Very informative and useful information that should really be common sense. Unfortunately, every summer not only do our furbabies suffer from these "accidents", but also babies and young children as well. It is a really sad thing.
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Old 05-28-2009, 04:42 PM   #11
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Thank you for reminding us. I have actually called the police on people that had their dog in the car, and I live in Florida. So, you know it gets hot. This girl did not have the air on, but just cracked the windows some. I sat waiting for the cops to come (with my air on in my car) and it took 20 minutes. I was ready to go break her window and get the dog out. In the 20 minutes that I was waiting for the police to come, she came out and started her car, and put the air on. I was sitting there watching. So the dog was in airconditoning for about 5 minutes. I was ready to have a heart attack. The cops still told her she cannot have the car running, with the air on and a dog inside. She got in her car and left. (I had already given the police her license plate number, description of the car, etc.) I really hate seeing that. I showed my granddaughter how hot it gets in a car by keeping the windows up and turning the car off. It sure opened her eyes to how I was feeling.
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Old 06-01-2009, 01:12 PM   #12
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I didn't realize that it could get so hot even in moderate temperatures. Scary!

I would never leave Thor in the car anyway, because I think he is so cute and could be stolen easily. I *always* take him with me, even for those "two minute" errands. Keep that in mind too, even if your car is not hot at all, leaving your yorkie alone is like leaving a $500 piece of electronic equipment in the back seat.

I'm glad I live in SF where it doesn't get too hot.
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Old 06-07-2009, 10:43 AM   #13
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I wish I had a certain "doctor's" email to send this to him. He left his lab in his car for 3 hours while he made rounds at the hospital I worked at. Had I been there that day, EVERYONE would have been notified about the incident. He actually brought the dog into the ER and demanded IV's be started. The poor dog was already gone (and probably had been for a while) It was 101 in the shade that day. I cannot believe the amount of ignorant people in the little town I live in that KNOW he killed his dog, yet put their own lives in his hands. (He has killed a few people I know of as well)
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Old 06-07-2009, 11:04 AM   #14
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Great thread......... needs a bumping!
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Old 06-08-2009, 02:16 AM   #15
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Excellent info.,thanks for sharing.
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