As I was digging my toes into the sand this week at the beach…

I thought of how much I was missing our dog (who, by the way, is having a marvelous time at the Animal Hospital of Polaris…hanging out with his buddies and romping around at doggie daycare each day).  Although I missed him, I thought of how difficult it would be to travel with a dog and how traumatic it might be for him to be so completely out of his element.  Then….I read an article that discussed the hazards of summer for our pets! 

Salt Water Toxicity…
If your dog loves to play at the beach, be careful. Dogs don’t realize that salt water is dangerous, and excessive intake can result in severe hypernatremia, or salt poisoning. While initial signs of hypernatremia include vomiting and diarrhea, salt poisoning can progress quickly to neurologic signs like incoordination, seizures, progressive depression, and ultimately, severe brain swelling. Hypernatremia needs to be treated very carefully with IV fluids by your veterinarian. Help avoid the problem by carrying a fresh bottle of tap water and offering it to your dog frequently while he’s frolicking on the beach.

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And then there’s the pool…
If you own a pool or hobby pond, make sure to keep those pool chemicals safely stored away! Algaecides and chlorine shock water treatment products are generally safe once these chemicals are diluted properly. However, many of the undiluted pool chemicals (like chlorine bleach tablets, etc.) are corrosive (as they are bleach derivatives), and if ingested directly from the bucket or in tablet form, can result in severe ulcers in the mouth, esophagus, and stomach, resulting in life-threatening punctures of the GI tract. When in doubt, make sure you always store your pool chemicals in a locked, secure area, and never leave open containers (even for a moment!) pool-side.

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