Some Friday K9 Education because we all love our Dogs!!!
Being involved with Pit-Track K9 Conservation & Anti-poaching, we have come to learn a lot of valuable information about caring for working K9's!!! Have a read & share this vital info whether your K9's are working dogs or not...this could save your dogs life even if on a long casual walk!!
#k9sforbigcats #APUK9 #k9WORKING K9 ALERT FOR ALL HANDLERS !!! HEAT STROKE KILL'S WORKING K9'S
The biggest killer of working K9's is heat stroke, K9's are not designed to work in hot conditions, naturally they would sleep in a cool place during the heat of the day as they cannot control their own body temperature sufficiently to operate in hot conditions and only perspire between there toes and pant air over the hot blood in there tongue. To cool down, both these blood cooling methods are insufficient and when a K9 gets heat stroke it's cells start shutting down to provide what ever it can to vital organs in preparation for death, this process is usually irreversible and K9's usually die two to three days after over exposure to heat. The first signs of heat stroke on your working K9 is heavy panting, becoming lethargic, disorientation and haemorrageing of the gums (little red spots on the gums) occurs. The trick to this is to avoid this at all cost as by the time the K9 starts showing symptoms it can be to late as the dog would need to be cooled and placed on a fluid intravenous drip immediately.
The preventive measure is simple if a handler wants to force a dog to work in the sun or heat of the day, it is the handlers responsibility to control and monitor the K9's operating temperature. We achieve this by cooling the dog with water in areas where the veins and arteries are closest to the skin. In cases where water has to be carried and there are no alternative water points, we cool the K9's in 5 Places:
* The neck, taking your time to saturate the collar and massage the water through the oily hair to make sure it touches the skin * All 4 leg pits, you can cup your hand and manually wet these areas. This can be done every 30-60 mins dependent on activity and temperature.
In places where water is abundant, you can wet the entire K9, water intake is obviously important as well and we hydrate the dogs accordingly with small amounts regularly is optimum, as a K9 should never work on a full stomach as this causes twisted bowl syndrome that kills lots of working K9's. Evaporating water naturally, creates cooling, this process is known as evaporative cooling. So anything you can place over the dog and wet will increase the cooling factor. There are some nifty products on the market like cooling vests and buffs that can be saturated but they are expensive and one can always improvise for free, so there is really no excuse. K9's how ever operate extremely well as long as their body temperature can be maintained, this in turn keeps your working K9 cool and hydrated and is obviously mutually beneficial for both handler and K9.
As there are no text books on this stuff and as above it is backed by extensive infield experience, we are loosing many well trained working dogs to heat exhaustion globally and we're hoping through the sharing of this knowledge we can save a lot of working dogs.
In short if you want to force your K9 to work in the sun, then force your self to keep it cool....
Happy to Share.....
Be COOL out There...... and look after the working K9's and they will look after you ! ... See MoreSee Less