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Vets issue heatstroke warning as temperatures rise
Owners of dogs experiencing heatstroke should 'cool first, transport second'.

Veterinary and welfare experts urge dog owners to be alert to the risks.

Veterinary organisations and animal welfare charities have warned of the fatal risk of heatstroke, as weather forecasts predict increasing temperatures across the UK.

Previous heatwaves have caused veterinary practices to see a dramatic increase in heatstroke cases. Research from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) found that, in 2022, practices saw five times more heatstroke cases during heat-health alert periods.

During this time, one in four dogs experiencing heatstroke died.

Further research from the British Veterinary Association (BVA) discovered that one in ten veterinary surgeons in small animal practice had seen at least one dog affected by heatstroke after being left in a hot car. However, nearly four times as many veterinary surgeons saw at least one dog develop heatstroke after a walk on a hot day.

These statistics have prompted the Dogs Die in Hot Cars campaign coalition, which includes BVA, RVC VetCompass and RSPCA, to publish vital advice for dog owners.

The RVC is advising owners of dogs experiencing heatstroke to ‘cool first, transport second’ as, the longer a dog stays hot, the more heatstroke damage can occur.

It says that owners should never leave their dog in a hot car, or take their dog out when the weather is too hot. The general advice for dog owners is to avoid any known triggers of heatstroke – ‘if in doubt, don’t go out’.

Emily Hall, lead canine heatstroke researcher at RVC, said: “If you spot early signs of your dog overheating, simply stopping exercise may not be enough. Owners need to think ahead and plan how they will cool their dogs in an emergency, especially after exercise or while travelling.”

Esme Wheeler, a dog welfare expert at RSPCA, is urging pet owners to begin taking precautions for their dog’s welfare now.

She says that these precautions are particularly important for dogs more susceptible to heatstroke. This can include dogs which are older, larger, overweight, double-coated or brachycephalic.

The RSPCA advises that dog owners, regardless of their pet’s breed, should get in the habit of checking temperature forecasts, consider how they might adapt their routine around hot spells and establish plans for cooling their dog or treating heatstroke.

The charity will also host online, interactive ‘Cool Dog Summer’ workshops to support dog owners.

Ms Wheeler said: “Even at lower temperatures, pets are still very much at risk, which some owners may not realise. We’re also highlighting that no matter your dog’s breed or how much they appear to enjoy basking in the sunshine, all animals are at risk.

"Taking the time now to identify how you can reduce your dog’s risk, could just save their life.”

Image © Shutterstock

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Special imports digital service set to change

News Story 1
 From Monday, 15 July, Special Import Certificate (SIC) applications will only be accepted via the Veterinary Medicines Directorate's (VMD's) new special imports digital service.

The original online special import scheme will be decommissioned. The VMD says that the new service is easier to use, more secure and reliable, and meets accessibility legislation.

The VMD is urging veterinary surgeons who have not yet signed up for the new service to do so before 15 July. The new digital service can be accessed here

Click here for more...
News Shorts
RCVS course explains concerns process

A free, online course from the RCVS Academy has been launched, designed to clarify RCVS' concerns procedure.

The content will give veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses a better understanding of the process, and what they can expect if a concern is raised about them. It includes details of common concerns.

The interactive resource has been developed in collaboration with Clare Stringfellow, case manager in the RCVS Professional Conduct Team.

Ms Stringfellow said: "We appreciate that concerns can be very worrying, and we hope that, through this course, we can give vets and nurses a better understanding of the process and how to obtain additional support."

The course can be accessed via the RCVS Academy. Users are encouraged to record their learning for CPD.