Signs your dog is over worked?

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Joe3232
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Signs your dog is over worked?

Post by Joe3232 » Sun May 03, 2020 8:59 pm

Hello- now that the weather is turning warmer...what are signs that I should look for to indicate my dog is too hot or nearing too much work?

If she does get on the edge of being too worked, any smart things to do? I heard carry honey packets in case of heat stroke? Hopefully we never get near there..

averageguy
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Re: Signs your dog is over worked?

Post by averageguy » Mon May 04, 2020 5:11 am

Excessive rapid panting is a key one. When it is hot out I work my dogs in areas with ponds they can jump into. Honey packets do nothing for heat exhaustion, or worse heat stroke. Only cooling the dog off addresses that.

Avoiding it in the first place is what you want to do.

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gonehuntin'
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Re: Signs your dog is over worked?

Post by gonehuntin' » Mon May 04, 2020 1:04 pm

Watch for heavy panting and lethargy. They become lackadaisical and lose interest in working. They pant heavily and may just plop down. Sometimes their back end goes and they start to wobble. Look at the gums. Bright red means their in distress. Should be pink. Don't pour water on the head. Does no good. Cool under the legs (arm pits) and stomach. Use rubbing alcohol; it will cool him fast. I only ever work near water so they can swim to their hearts content.

Some dogs are more susceptible to heat than others. Each is an individual.

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Re: Signs your dog is over worked?

Post by shags » Mon May 04, 2020 3:29 pm

Heavy panting but little to no saliva. Diarrhea. Eyes glassy and or bloodshot. Seems disoriented. Wobbly. Bright red gums. Quits. Keels over. Convulsions.

Don't let it get that far ^^^ Better to bring 'em in too soon than too late. Once the internal thermostat goes, it's gone for good and the dog won't ever be the same for exertion. Some dogs die if they get too overheated.

Keep exercise sessions short and have plenty of water available. Ponds and creeks on course are great but no substitute for your watchful eye. We keep a cheap plastic wading pool from the Dollar Store filled, in the yard, for when we get in from runs out back. If your dog overheats, pour cool water on his belly, in the inguinal area, inside pinna of ears, and feet.

If the heat index is high, skip hard exercise for that day and do something lighter or shorter. Mornings and evenings might work out if schedule permits. I've seen too many dogs get in trouble even though their handlers were keeping an eye on them...the dogs don't show any distress until the situation got bad.

Heat tolerance varies among individuals, so you have to figure out how much your dog can handle.

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Re: Signs your dog is over worked?

Post by birddogger2 » Mon May 04, 2020 5:54 pm

Joe -

Nothing much to add about the signs of overheating.

Prevention is the goal and one of the best ways to do that is to GRADUALLY increase the dog's heat tolerance level. You do this by pushing the dog a little at a time, in the heat. You would be surprised at just how heat tolerant a dog can become if it is built up to it slowly. The more heat tolerance you build in...the harder it will become for the dog to get overheated in the first place, so it is kinda building in a margin of safety. Having plenty of water with you and calling the dog in frequently for watering and wetting down its belly can forestall overheating. Be especially careful on muggy days, because dogs cool off by evaporation and the more humid it is, the slower the evaporation process becomes. Whenever you run your dog carry PLENTY of water, for both of you. When I ran my dogs on foot in the summer, I wore a camelback vest with (I think) 80 or 100 oz, AND I carried a gallon jug strapped across my shoulders. I trained the dogs to drink from the bite valve which I would squeeze and aim into their mouth. I typically ran them in an area that was devoid of water, first because I wanted them to come to me when I called, and they did since I was the one with the water. Also, I was actively trying to build heat tolerance so that in the early season trials, where the temps during the day were often pretty high, my dog could run the entire brace and finish strong, while their bracemate was running out of gas, shortening and slowing up.

The other tool you can employ as a preventative is a set of clippers. Shaving a setter's belly and giving it a haircut everywhere else(except the tail and the feathers on the legs of course) will keep the dog cooler by removing that insulating layer of hair. Having a dog at its optimal weight is also a big help, because any extra pounds are mostly fat and fat is an insulator. Thinner is better, but that should not be a problem for your little girl.

Now for treatment... just in case the dog does indeed get overheated. First have water with you in the field and wet down the dog's belly. Next, when you get back to the vehicle, wet the dog down, thoroughly, go start your vehicle and turn the A/C on high. Then put the dog in the front seat with you and let the A/C do it's job. You may have to take a slow ride to keep your vehicle from overheating, but the cool dry air is just what is needed. If that ain't gettin' it done...time to find an emergency vet...pronto.

One thing NOT to do is to submerge the overheated dog in cold water. This can actually cause the dog's body to go into a shock response, drawing its blood into its core...which will stop the cooling process. If you have a water hose, you can play the cold water on the dog's legs and feet and perhaps make a mud puddle for it to lay down in, but...not too cold, too fast.

A properly conditioned dog can run for an hour in 80 + degree heat. An unconditioned, overweight dog with a full winter coat might very well be in serious trouble in exactly the same conditions.

RayG

P.S. There was a study done on sled dogs and heat tolerance, quite o few years ago. it was done in conjunction with maltodextrin therapy to replace blood glycogen levels. If it is still out there on the net, it makes very good reading on the subjects of heat tolerance and performance enhancement.

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Re: Signs your dog is over worked?

Post by Joe3232 » Mon May 04, 2020 7:35 pm

Thanks all. Very helpful.

I am curious- at what temp/humidity do you start to become overly cognizant of the temperature and its effect on the dog?

Meaning- if its 70s and dry- dog in decent shape should be good to go? Or something like I should be careful running my dog when its over 80 if she is not used to it? Hopefully this question makes sense, just curious how much caution others use. Thanks

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gonehuntin'
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Re: Signs your dog is over worked?

Post by gonehuntin' » Tue May 05, 2020 4:49 am

I'm aware every day. Just watch your dog. Some are more heat tolerant than others. Like much of owning a dog, it's common sense. The hotter it gets, the more danger the dog's in. Work early in the morning when it's hot.

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Re: Signs your dog is over worked?

Post by shags » Tue May 05, 2020 5:05 am

Joe, It all depends on the dog.

I think this is the first time I've taken exception to something Ray had posted, but here goes...he said that a properly conditioned dog can run an hour in 80* heat. Maybe some can, but many cannot. You can do your best to condition a dog to the heat, but if he can't do it, he can't do it. All the conditioning in the world won't change the dog's internal thermostat, even though it will change his c/v system and musculature, and maybe his ability to pace himself somewhat.

My current personal examples...one dog is fine into the low to mid 70s. He'll get warm, need a little water and a break in his daily run, but come home, grab a quick slurp from their pool, and that's that. My other dog will last about 10 minutes in the same conditions, completely fade on me, and needs to come back in. With weather in the 40s and sideways blowing sleet he can go for at least an hour, but the mid 50s is about the end of his comfort zone and he'll be gassed and need a dip in the pool and quite a while to recover.

FWIW, the better 'hot dog' is smaller at about 48# while the other is big at over 70# in lean fit condition. The first has a light fancy gait, while the big boy is a freight train.

When you run or road your dog, take note of how she's doing in different conditions. Push a little bit past comfort but be very careful. You'll soon see whether she can take more time or higher temps or not. I let my dogs go to their individual limits, then quit for that session. It's not worth it, losing a dog over numbers on a stopwatch or thermometer. It's a horrible thing that you don't ever want to see.

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Re: Signs your dog is over worked?

Post by cjhills » Tue May 05, 2020 7:13 am

Joe:
In the south and west if you don't hunt or train in high temps you would miss a lot of hunting and training. We routinely hunt and train in 90 degree temps in the early season and training in summer. In SD shooting starts at noon the first week and 10 am the rest of the season. So you can't hunt in the cool part of the day.
You need to watch your dogs for signs of heat exhaustion and have some way to cool them down. Preferably an AC vehicle or a pool, pond or stock tank. Dogs do not have a very efficient cooling system.
My dogs live in a AC kennel and have no heat conditioning and do fine. But you have to pay attention.
Hunt Tests and trials in the heat are the worst and should provide pools and time ti cool off....Cj

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Re: Signs your dog is over worked?

Post by birddogger2 » Tue May 05, 2020 8:05 am

shags wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 5:05 am
Joe, It all depends on the dog.

I think this is the first time I've taken exception to something Ray had posted, but here goes...he said that a properly conditioned dog can run an hour in 80* heat. Maybe some can, but many cannot. You can do your best to condition a dog to the heat, but if he can't do it, he can't do it. All the conditioning in the world won't change the dog's internal thermostat, even though it will change his c/v system and musculature, and maybe his ability to pace himself somewhat.

My current personal examples...one dog is fine into the low to mid 70s. He'll get warm, need a little water and a break in his daily run, but come home, grab a quick slurp from their pool, and that's that. My other dog will last about 10 minutes in the same conditions, completely fade on me, and needs to come back in. With weather in the 40s and sideways blowing sleet he can go for at least an hour, but the mid 50s is about the end of his comfort zone and he'll be gassed and need a dip in the pool and quite a while to recover.

FWIW, the better 'hot dog' is smaller at about 48# while the other is big at over 70# in lean fit condition. The first has a light fancy gait, while the big boy is a freight train.

When you run or road your dog, take note of how she's doing in different conditions. Push a little bit past comfort but be very careful. You'll soon see whether she can take more time or higher temps or not. I let my dogs go to their individual limits, then quit for that session. It's not worth it, losing a dog over numbers on a stopwatch or thermometer. It's a horrible thing that you don't ever want to see.
Shags is correct. I overstated the case somewhat. What I intended to convey was ...if the dog has been properly conditioned to heat AND has shown a high degree of heat tolerance...it should be able to run in the heat for an hour. Obviously it would be foolhardy and dangerous to the dog to try and run a dog that has not shown good to excellent heat tolerance.

As far as what temps you need to watch... as others have said...watch your dog in all conditions and you will know when it is starting to struggle. I have shooting dog/all age bred pointers, so I do not worry much until the temps head north of 75 degrees, but they are short haired dogs and bred for
the ability to run... but I do know what each dog looks like when all is well and what it looks like when it is beginning to struggle.

Also, my dogs are outside dogs and are accustomed to outside temps. Their runs are under an 80% shade cloth in the summer...but it is still hot and they are acclimated to it. I have a dripper hose to keep the front of their concrete runs damp and a bit cool, but, it is still hot.

An inside dog with a full coat of hair will very likely be less heat tolerant, at least at first.

RayG

Joe3232
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Re: Signs your dog is over worked?

Post by Joe3232 » Thu May 07, 2020 6:59 pm

as usual...thanks all...i am learning much here.

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