Friday, July 9, 2010

A Public Service Announcement: Dogs & Ice

The following was forwarded to me on The Boxer Mailing List, and I thought it was important enough to share as I know many of us are trying to keep our dogs cool in this heatwave!

I am writing this in hopes that some may learn from what I just went
through. We were having a good weekend till Saturday. On Saturday I showed
my Baran and left the ring. He was looking good and at the top of his game.
He had a chance at no less then one of the two AOM's.

It did not work out that way. After showing we went back to our site/set up
and got the dogs in their crates to cool off. After being back about 30 min.
I noticed Baran was low on water. I took a hand full of ice from my cooler
and put it in his bucket with more water. We then started to get all the
dogs Ex'ed and food ready for them.

I had Baran in his 48' crate in the van because this is the place he loves
to be. He loves to be able to see everyone and everything. After checking
him and thinking he was cooled off enough, we fed him. We walked around and
one of my friends stated that Baran seamed like he was choking. I went over
and checked on him. He was dry heaving and drooling. I got him out of the
crate to check him over and noticed he had not eaten. He was in some
distress. I checked him over from head to toe and did not notice anything. I
walked him around for about a minute when I noticed that he was starting to
bloat. I did everything I was taught to do in this case. I was not able to
get him to burp, and we gave him Phasezime.

We rushed Baran to a vet clinic. We called ahead and let them know we were
on our way. They were set up and waiting for us. They got Baran stablized
very quickly. After Baran was stable and out of distress we transported him
to AVREC where he went into surgery to make sure no damage was done to any
of his vital organs. I am very happy to say Baran is doing great, there was
no damage to any vital organs, and he still loves his food.

In surgery the vet found that Baran's stomach was in its normal anatomic
position. We went over what had happened. When I told the vet about the ice
water, he asked why I gave him ice water. I said that I have always done
this. I told him my history behind this practice and his reply was, "I have
been very lucky." The ice water I gave Baran caused violent muscle spasms in
his stomach which caused the bloating. Even though I figured his temperature
was down enough to feed, and gave him this ice water, I was wrong. His
internal temperature was still high. The vet stated that giving a dog ice to
chew or ice water is a big NO, NO! There is no reason for a dog to have
ice/ice water. Normal water at room temperature, or cooling with cold towels
on the inner thigh, is the best way to help cool a dog. The vet explained it
to me like this: If you, as a person, fall into a frozen lake what happens
to your muscles? They cramp. This is the same as a dog's stomach.

I felt the need to share this with everyone, in the hopes that some may
learn from what I went through, I do not wish this on anyone. Baran is home
now doing fine. So please if you do use ice and ice water, beware of what
could happen.


  1. I'm so glad you shared this info with us. I appreciate dog info ALWAYS as I have 5 (maybe 6 soonn) and pet sit.

  2. Wow. Thank you so much for sharing! I did not know this.

  3. I am a pet sitter as well and I am often giving ice to dogs when the temperature is unusually high and I've never experienced any problems, thank God. Now that I've read this post I will remember to just stick with giving the dogs water at room temperature! I never thought of the impact ice could have on a dog's body!
    P.S. I twittered and Facebooked your post immediately after reading it!

  4. Thanks for the warning! LOVE the picture.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Kendra & Bella

  5. Hahaha, my grandma forwarded this pic to me. Brix.

  6. Whoa - who knew?! Thank you for sharing this. I always grab a tall glass of ice water for myself, and throw ice cubes for my dogs. I never gave it a second thought!

  7. Hi! I just stopped by from the blog hop and read this story. I give my dogs ice cubes and had no idea and I find I am pretty informed about all things dog. WOW! WOuld you mind if I shared this on my blog? Please stop over and let me know.

    Doreen from Doggies and Stuff blog

  8. Thanks for sharing, A bite of an eye opener.