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Ask Bobby: advice for your pet on board.

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On a recent fishing trip to Mexico, my black French bulldog, Snuffles, gave me a scare. We were all out on deck trolling, and he was panting a lot and wasn't doing his usual clowny tricks, and his eyes looked glassy. We moved him into the shade and gave him some cool water. I thought dogs liked the sun. Roger Bean, San Diego

Dogs don't deal with heat the way you sweaty humans do. We don't have sweat glands, so we pant to cool off. Overheating and heatstroke are really serious problems for dogs, especially overweight, sick, very young or older dogs. Your Frenchie needs to be extra careful because dogs with short muzzles or smushy faces have a more difficult time breathing.

Heatstroke can kill a dog. Symptoms to look for are loud, intense panting; lots of thick, sticky saliva; brick-red gums; and disorientation. Other signs are vomiting, diarrhea, collapsing, the inability to walk and eventually pale gums, tremors, seizures, loss of consciousness, coma and death.

When it's too hot for you, it's too hot for your dog. If you don't have an air-conditioned retreat, minimize your dog's heat exposure. Give him lots of fresh, cool water. Ideally, put him in a spot with a breeze and shade.

For more serious cases of heatstroke, take your dog to a veterinarian immediately.

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Title Annotation:FROM THE POOPDECK
Author:Bean, Roger
Publication:Boating World
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2011
Words:234
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