Monday, April 6, 2020

Did you know that your Pug needs Sun Protection?

Even though it is best just to keep your pug inside during the mid-day sun your pug may not always agree.  Now there is protective clothing that is available, although, not always feasible or even practical for all of our pugs.  We all know each pug is different and have each have their individual personality. 

However, there is sunscreen possible to apply to your pug.  Believe it or not, a pug can get sunburn so protection is necessary when they are going to be exposed for an extended period of time.  If your pug does get sunburn they are susceptible to the suffering from pain, peeling and potential of skin cancer. Severe sun burns could even cause skin infections.

It is very important NOT to use human sunscreen products because of the ingredients such as zinc oxide can be toxic and can cause gastrointestinal problems if ingested. There are sunscreens on the market that are specifically designed for pets and they are the safest and best choice for your pug.  These sunscreens can be purchase online or at retail pet stores. Make sure the package states for “pets” as well as, they should be waterproof, block the UVA and UVB rays. It is best to get the SPF 15 or higher.  It is best to apply on your pug’s bare skin as well as light areas, on the noses and tips of the ears.  Avoid the eyes! If you use the spray sunscreen be careful so your pug does not inhale the spray. Remember to reapply the sunscreen about every three to four hours or more if the pug is in the water.   If your pug experiences a rash or excessive itching, stop using the sunscreen immediately; wash the sunscreen off and contact your veterinarian.
Be careful to watch your pug with heatstroke; as the temperature is heating up, it is best to make sure your pug does not overexert or spend too much in the heat such as a car.  It is also necessary to provide plenty of water for your pug.  Pugs do not sweat like human do, pugs pant to help cool themselves. Panting assists them to get rid of hot air so they can inhale cool air.  They may sweat through their foot pads and nose but it is not sufficient enough to keep them cool.  These differences in pets make them especially prone to heatstroke during hot and humid weather. There is specific critical temperature to avoid since heatstroke can occur at even lower temperatures if the humidity is high.

Here are some of the symptoms of a potential heat stroke that your pug may suffer from: excessive or exaggerated panting, lethargy, weakness, excessive drooling, high fever, dark red gums, and rapid heartbeat, unresponsiveness to your voice and/or their surroundings, vomiting, collapse, staring or anxious expression, and warm/dry skin.  Heatstroke IS a medical emergency and potentially a life-threatening condition which does require immediate medical attention!  Without the proper care and attention during a heatstroke your pug may have permanent organ damage in the heart, liver, kidneys and brain. Also, the potential of Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation (DIC), which is when the body is unable to clot normally this, can be a secondary complication to heatstroke but it is fatal.

If you need or even want to take your pug outside for exercise, some playtime or for a walk make sure to have plenty of cool water for them, have a shady area for them and you to rest.  Do not leave them outside unattended because they can be easily overheated.  Even if they are swimming they are still prone to heatstroke so again make sure they are resting in a shady area with plenty of cool water.  While at home make sure your pug is not left within a room such as a sunroom or a garage, those rooms are insufficient for them to breathe in because the lack of air circulation and the temperatures can rise too high. 

Know your pug’s body temperature that way if you suspect your pug of having a heatstroke, head straight for your veterinarian’s office or the emergency veterinarian office.  Do not call, just go!! If possible have someone with you so one can be driving and the other one can help to lower your pug’s body temperature with wet towels.  Make sure the towels are not too cold but cool, so it does not put your pug into shock.  Do not use ice to lower their body temperature but place your pug’s face up to the air conditioning vent to help cool them. 

The sun and heat is nothing to mess with when it comes to the well-being of your pug, apply sunscreen, keep cool clean water available and above all keep your pug cool. 

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