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Pugs and Heat - Important Reminder!
July 2, 2010

The following story is not pleasant but I have been hearing more and more of these types of horror stories just in the last few weeks, so I feel the need to bring more awareness to the issue, hopefully preventing another tragedy if even one person reads this and it happens to save a life.
I have a friend in the pug rescue community whose friend of hers called last week, she was sobbing and totally bereft.

What happened to her could happen to any one of us.

Her 5 pugs and her elderly foster were outside doing their business. She was inside on the phone with one eye out in the yard on the dogs. After about 10 minutes they started yapping to come in but only 4 came in.

The other two: One of her babies and her foster pug were laying limp in the yard.

There is no need to go into the horror that she experienced. Both dogs had heat stroke. The foster dog and after a struggle in intensive care, her other pug didn't make it either.

Of course she is devastated beyond anything that any of us can comprehend...our heart is breaking for her.

All any of us can do to prevent something like this happening again is to talk about it. Get the word out.

Pugs are a brachycephalic breed. Their short noses make for very compromised respiratory systems.

Pug owners need to understand that anymore than 1 or 2 minutes in temperatures over 80 degrees can be life threatening to any pug, young or old.

This is very serious.

Out of respect for the recent loss and still grieving, I have refrained from mentioning names, dogs or humans. Just know that the story is very real.

A reminder to please read the Pug Summer Tips, on how to keep your pugs (and all short nosed breeds) healthy during the hot summer months: Pass it along.

Stop people on the street you see walking a Brachy breed in the heat or God forbid locked in the car while their owners run even just a quick errand.

Maybe together we can help save a life.

Above all please be responsible and keep your dogs cool this summer.

Drape a cool wet cloth over them if they start to overheat. You could also dip them in a cool bathtub or kiddy pool.

Leave your AC during the day when the house gets the hottest if you are able. If not, leave a fan blowing where they lay. Always leave fresh cold water supply nearby. Sometimes a cool tiled floor is the best place for them to be.

Take them on walks only early in the morning and later in the evening when it is the coolest.

NEVER NEVER NEVER leave them locked in a hot car, not even for a minute.

More information on BRACHYCEPHALIC DOGS (Pug, Boston Terrier, Pekingese, Boxer, Bulldog, Shih tzu or any one of the other breeds with "pushed in" faces) Because of all these upper respiratory obstructions, the brachycephalic dog is an inefficient panter. A dog with a more conventional face and throat is able to pass air quickly over the tongue through panting. Saliva evaporates from the tongue as air is passed across and the blood circulating through the tongue is efficiently cooled and circulated back to the rest of the body.

In the brachycephalic dog, so much extra work is required to move the same amount of air that the airways become inflamed and swollen. This leads to a more severe obstruction, distress, and further over-heating.

Altogether, the upper airways of the brachycephalic dog compromises his or her ability to take in air. Under normal conditions the compromise is not great enough to cause a problem; however, an owner should take care not to let the dog become grossly overweight or get too hot in the summer months. Be aware of what degree of snorting and sputtering is usual for your individual pet plus, should your pet require general anesthesia or sedation, your vet may want to take extra precautions or take radiographs prior to assess the severity of the syndrome. Anesthetic risk is higher than usual in these breeds, though under most circumstances the necessary extra precautions are readily managed by most animal hospitals.
Posted by Lori on July 2, 2010 12:07 AM permalink Comments (3)



Laura commented July 2, 2010 2:53 PM

Thanks for the tips Lori! As a proud mama to a Bostie, I appreciate your advice!



emily the biker pug commented July 2, 2010 10:49 PM

Oh Lori that is so upsetting I had to wait several hours before commenting.
If going away for a long time I prefer to leave them downstairs with windows open and several fans running. Our ac is upstairs and if the electric went out it would be way too hot, so always think it through as to where and how you leave your pugs.



emily the biker pug commented July 3, 2010 12:47 PM

Lori I have one more tip for everyone that applies at all times
Keep the toilet lid closed at all times.
If any small dog (especially pugs that are chest heavy) should attempt to go for a drink they can possibly end up face first in the commode and no way to get any traction to get out.
SO keep a lid on it.
Lets face it pugs are forever 2 year olds.


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