Vets say more dogs sick in hot weather

Island veterinarians say they're seeing an increase in sick dogs due to the heat this summer.
The Humane Society receives on average three calls a day about dogs left in cars. (CBC)

Island veterinarians say they’re seeing an increase in sick dogs due to the heat this summer.

Dogs are showing up with gastro-intestinal issues because they’re drinking salty seawater to beat the heat.

"The thing is, we don't really try to avoid it, she doesn't do it that often. And she knows that at the end of the trip, she's going to get her fresh water in the car," said Fred Brown, a dog owner.

The high temperatures also mean dead animals on the beaches are rotting faster and if dogs eat them, that could make them sick.

"They're not feeling well, they're just not eating, maybe some vomiting, maybe diarrhea, nothing specific," says Dr. David Lister, a veterinarian in Montague.

"It could end up being fatal because if they have a borderline kidney problem, and they get dehydrated, it might just push them over the edge that the kidneys get in serious trouble."

People need to keep an eye on their pets and bring fresh water when they take their dogs out of the house, according to the P.E.I. Humane Society.

"It's not good enough to say, 'Well the dog is tied to a tree and there's shade.' Because that changes from day to day, and the position of the sun," according to Doug Burkholder, an animal protection officer. "So you need a doghouse. The dog has to have a place that he or she can go to get out of the heat."

The Society said it's received up to three calls a day about pets being left in cars.

Lister says the best treatment for a dog sick from the heat, is to give it a small amount of fresh water with ice.