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Emergency heat warning issued for pets

Statement issued Tuesday:

City of Fort Wayne, Animal Care & Control is issuing a hot weather alert for pet owners. Due to current high temperatures and the heat index, Animal Care & Control officials are asking that people pay extra attention to provisions for their animals.

The shelter is seeing an increase in weather related health concerns for pets. Officials recommend bringing pets into an air-conditioned area of your home; fans are helpful where air-conditioning is unavailable. When pets are outside owners are required to provide appropriate provisions.

• Access to shade

• Quantities of fresh drinking water. Secure containers so they cannot be spilled. If available, a shallow filled wadding pool can help a dog to cool themselves.

• Use preventative for fly bites, fleas, and ticks.

• Do not leave any animal in a parked car, even with the windows open.

• Shorten walks and avoid exercising pets in the heat of the day.

Any animal that is left in conditions that pose an immediate health hazard will be taken directly to Animal Care & Control for safety. Animal Control Officers will leave written notice for the owner to claim their pet from the shelter.

Hyperthermia/Heat Stress: Acute condition that occurs when the body produces more heat that it can dissipate. It is usually due to excessive exposure to heat. The heat-regulating mechanisms of the body eventually become overwhelmed and unable to effectively deal with the heat; therefore the body temperature climbs uncontrollably. This is a medical emergency that requires immediate medical attention.

Symptoms: Dogs are unable to sweat freely and loose heat through breathing and there paws. The common response to a dogs rising body temperature is an increase in the rate of respiration, breathing becomes faster, but not deeper (Panting), which causes an increased water and carbon dioxide loss.

Signs: Heavy Panting, glazed eyes, rapid pulse, staggering gait, vomiting, and purple tongue.