Given the rather inefficient manner that heat loss occurs
it is particularly important for our patients, like "Harry"
7 year old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with heart disease,
to remain at a reasonable temperature and stay hydrated.
When the heart pump starts to fail, fluid builds up in
the circulatory system. Consequently, some of the medication
prescribed acts on the kidneys to increase urine output
and ease the fluid load on the heart and circulation. If
a patient is already losing fluid through panting the consequent
dehydration can put considerable strain on the kidneys.
Additionally the physical effort of panting adds to the
already significant demands on the failing heart.Ensuring
plenty of fresh water is available is vital.It is also of
great benefit to provide a cool shower to reduce the core
"Harry's" owner confessed to an additional form
of therapy in these balmy evenings to cheer him up........an
ice cold Bailey's.............but only a small one! There
has been some medical papers written to establish that red
wine taken in moderation in humans may have a beneficial
effect on heart disease (a project I am personally researching!)
However it would appear that "Harry" is pioneering
a whole new different area!
Dunne BVMS, Cert SAO, MRCVS
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