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Your Best Friend

1794 Views 0 Replies 1 Participant Last post by  Whistler
Original post made by Paul Louderback(Admin) on October 3, 2002

The Catfisherman’s Last Friend

After the Kids are grown and gone, your dog is the only loyal one still there. I hope to enlighten you in ways to ensure your sidekick is well protected while fishing the long hot days of summer.

Your buddy is eagerly waiting to spend time with you on your next trip, he instinctively knows that he is about to enjoy the best dog/owner time known to an animal.

Time spent alone on the river with your dog ( animal ), or otherwise known to most of us, the evil child, can be some of the best medicine that we can self administer ourselves.

First off, each of us selects an animal based on predefined needs, pre-programmed long ago. Some like small, some large. Obviously, each breed has its own unique characteristics that must be addressed. But general rules do apply:

Short nosed breeds:

Like Boxers, are more susceptible to heatstroke than other breeds because their reduced airways limit the amount of hot air they are able to exhale.

Double coated breeds:

Such as German Shepherds, are more susceptible to heat because their coats retain more heat than other breeds.

There are many different types of heat injuries, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, and the worst, heat stroke.

How do you recognize heatstroke in a dog?

A dog experiencing heatstroke will start out with heavy panting which is often accompanied with excessive saliva. This can be easily confused with the regular panting that may result from the heat or from exercise. The key here is to look for panting or saliva production that is above normal.

The second stage is a bit more pronounced. Your dog will most likely experience one or all of the following symptoms; gasping for breath, glassy eyes, and red gums. The dog will appear physically weak and may have trouble standing on their own. In later stages, your dog may experience diarrhea, vomiting, or seizures. Obviously, you want to identify heatstroke in the earliest stages possible. If you even suspect that your dog is suffering from heatstroke, the best course of action is to begin treatment and observe the dog.

The treatment of heatstroke is somewhat obvious. Your dog is suffering from too much heat, so it is your job to cool your dog down. Be careful not to introduce extreme shifts in temperature. For instance, do not throw your dog into a tub of ice water. Sever temperature shifts can be as dangerous, if not more, than the original problem.

To cool your dog down, try one of the following:
- immerse your dog in cool water from the livewell filled that morning, cooler, ice, etc.
- splash down your dog with river water that was allowed to stay in the shade a couple of minutes
- place water soaked towels on your dog's head, neck, chest, and abdomen. Resoak the towels as they heat up. If your dog is suffering, this may take as little as a couple of minutes.
- allow your dog to have fresh cool water

Take your dog to the vet as soon as the heat has gone down. Heatstroke can lead to several serious problems.

Always have fresh cool water available to your dog. Most dogs are more concerned about pleasing their master than doing what is right for them. Make sure your dog is ready for the activity that you are about to perform. Take the heat of the day into consideration. Remember that older dogs are more susceptible to the heat than younger dogs.

Smaller dogs are easier to protect, this is the easiest way. Will also work for medium size dogs, and provide a level of protection that is cheap, easy to do, and works well.

Secure that empty milk jug and fill it ¾ full of water, place it in the freezer and let it freeze. Lay it in the corner of the boat with a small amount of shade, and your dog is living in paradise. Of course, he/she will still come out and inspect the winning’s of your gambling / fishing trip, but the animal has a safety zone that it can decide on its own, its personal comfort zone. The milk jug will last for over 4 hours even in the hottest sun. Plus you can steal it when your on the verge of heat stroke yourself.

The best is to have two, so you create a small window of comfort for the animal, this will also keep the beast in a pre-defined area of the boat.

Animal care is often forgot in our summer ventures, we get many years of enjoyment from our selected creature, ensure that yours has the benefit of your thought, they will appreciate it!
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