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Vancouver Island animal hospital issues warning after 4 dogs die from heat stroke

Vancouver -

Multiple dogs died from heat stroke on Vancouver Island Saturday, according to an emergency veterinary hospital in Nanaimo.

Tinille Mckenzie-Wyatt is a registered veterinary technologist specializing in emergency and critical care for Central Island Veterinary Emergency Hospital. She told CTV News Vancouver Island the hospital saw four dogs die from heat stroke on Saturday.

More animals are likely succumbing to heat stroke across Vancouver Island and around B.C. as the province deals with a record-breaking heat wave.

While veterinarians and police departments often warn people not to leave dogs in hot cars, Mckenzie-Wyatt said the high temperatures in B.C. right now can be dangerous for animals even in other environments.

"It could definitely happen at home, quite easily in the backyard," she said. "Dogs don't always know what's best for them, and they'll be lying out right in the sun sometimes."

Mckenzie-Wyatt said it's important not to use ice or extreme cold to cool down dogs that are suffering from the heat. That can send them into shock and exacerbate the problem, she said.

Instead, the hospital recommends that people put dogs' feet in room temperature water or use cool towels on their bellies, armpits and groins to keep them cool.

Mckenzie-Wyatt said short-nosed dog breeds are more susceptible to heat, and owners should watch for excessive panting, lethargy, seizures and bloody stool, which are some of the symptoms of heat stroke at various degrees of severity.

Dogs experiencing such symptoms should be cooled using the methods listed and taken to the nearest emergency vet, Mckenzie-Wyatt said.


A previous version of this story gave the incorrect title for Tinille Mckenzie-Wyatt. She is actually a registered veterinary technologist specializing in emergency and critical care. Top Stories

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