Getting really hot, really fast.

Tooth of time Here's a picture from our Philmont trek in 2004.  We constantly reminded the Scouts (and each other) to keep drinking lots of water.  Even if you don't feel hot, you're losing a lot of water.  You'd think I would take my own advice, especially when it's such good advice.

I headed out to the country yesterday (on my "afternoon off") to vaccinate and blood test some horses.  The horses are all caught up, shouldn't take long.  Even though it was 97 in the shade, my truck is air-conditioned.  I'll stay in the shade, wear a big hat, it's nothing strenuous.  Besides, I like hot weather. I didn't take any water with me. Whoops.

It was hot: the horses were all wet with sweat and they were just grazing in the yard.  Still, it was no big deal filling out the paperwork, filling a few syringes, poking the first three horses.  Horse number four acted like a nut (it may not have been an act).  She seemed calm enough grazing, but when we shortened the lead rope, her front end headed skyward.

The owner has had some medical problems and wasn't strong enough to hold the mare.  His younger help were strong, but not skilled in restraint.  I tried to get them to help me get her pivoting around us, but they couldn't get with the program.  My straw hat got mashed down on my head when she slung her head at me. I finally managed to get an ear, then her nose, then circle her until she was tired, and then I was able to apply the twitch.  At that point,  she was happy to stand still for her blood test and vaccinations.

It's been quite a while since I've had the necessity to "cowboy up" like that, and I wasn't much anticipating that kind of exertion.  Suddenly, I was really hot.  I must have looked a little rough, as the owner asked, "Would you like something to drink?"  Well, I'll probably be okay until I get back to town.  "All I've got is Gatorade."  I'll take one.  [It was grape flavored, and I haven't drunk a grape soda since I puked up 12 ounces of Nugrape in the Ozarks 46 years ago.]  Eight ounces, two gulps, straight from my mouth to my pores.  I never felt it hit my stomach (though, of course, I know it did… probably).

I've written about heat stroke before, and this is a good time to think about it.  When it's this hot, it doesn't take much to put you over the edge.  Dogs are at greatest risk if tied out so that they can get tangled up.  Even dogs that are free to do as they please can overdo it.  If you're outside with the dog, encourage them to stop and cool down, hose them with some cool water, get them a drink.

If you can overheat in a hurry, without noticing it coming on, as smart as you are, then so can your dog.

3 thoughts on “Getting really hot, really fast.

  1. BWelch says:

    I keep a bottle of water in my car for my dog.
    Reminder-it takes less than 5 minutes for your air conditioned car to heat up to unbearable…even with the windows ‘cracked’. Please don’t leave your dog in the car!

  2. Janet says:

    I find it amusing that you forgot your water!

    My neighbor lets her cats wander outside and they come over to my back yard and drink from Spot’s water dish. Poor things.

  3. kathleen says:

    Good advice. One of my dogs likes to swim in the pool when it’s warm outside. I throw the tennis ball for her to retrieve (only retrieves things from the pool, not from land!) a few times and that way she gets some exercise and stays cool.

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