Dog fighting for life after going for walk at lunchtime during heatwave

A dog is fighting for its life with kidney failure after suffering from severe heatstroke during a lunchtime walk in the park. Speedy the greyhound’s body temperature reached over 43 degrees during the walk on Tuesday and had a seizure later that evening. Pet owners have been warned to look out for warning signs as the country is gripped by the UK’s hottest July day in history. The dog was said to be taken home in an air conditioned car, and the damage done to him was not obvious. He carried on panting into the evening and was rushed to the vet after collapsing and having a fit. Staff at Medivet in Hampstead, London, hosed Speedy down with cool water and put him on a drip to administer much needed fluids.

They realised the dog would need a plasma transfusion to allow his blood to clot properly and rushed him to the nearest emergency animal hospital. The team at Medivet’s Hendon practice kept on working to cool him down to prevent organ failure and the dog going into shock. Following a successful plasma transfusion, Speedy was placed in critical care overnight with one-on-one nursing support. He was seemingly on the road to recovery, but he had to be taken to the Royal Veterinary College today and is being treated for kidney failure. The dog owner Karen Pierce said that she was not to blame for the incident. She told ‘Speedy was in the care of a dog walker whilst I am abroad. ‘Speedy should not have been taken out in these high temperatures as he is particularly sensitive to heat. ‘He was loaded into a van with a number of other dogs whose body temperatures must have made him suffer terribly.’

Veterinary surgeon at the Hampstead branch Sarah Furminger said: ‘Unfortunately, owners do not always realise that their dogs are suffering from heatstroke as one of the main symptoms is heavy panting. ‘If owners do suspect heatstroke, it is critical that they act quickly and seek advice immediately to give their pets the best chance of survival. While Speedy is not out of the woods yet, we are hopeful that he will make a recovery.’ Medivet Hendon’s lead veterinary surgeon Jerry Dunne added: ‘While any dog can suffer heatstroke, breeds with thick fur, short noses and those with pre-existing medical conditions, such as obesity, are at a higher risk. ‘Similarly, extremely active or working dogs are more susceptible and should be watched carefully during this period of unusually hot weather.’

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