Extreme heat poses dangers to pets

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ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- The current heatwave in Central Virginia may have a bigger impact on your pet than you think.

A local veterinary clinic is advising local residents to be aware of the heat before walking their dogs. Contact with hot surfaces such as pavement can severely burn their paws and cause them to overheat.

Statistics show that asphalt can be as much as 40 degrees hotter than the air temperature, and concrete can be as much as 20 degrees hotter than the temperature on your thermometer.

Both of these surfaces can be very harmful to this sensitive area on your pets.

"You want to look for excessive panting, heavy breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling," said Amelia Moore, a licensed veterinary technician at Autumn Trails Veterinary Clinic. "Sometimes, they can even collapse and then in severe cases, you can have seizures, bloody diarrhea, and elevated body temperatures of 104 or higher."

All of these are telltale signs of heat-related stress and possible burns in dogs.

Moore has a simple tip for dog walkers. She said you can take the back of your hand and put it on the ground for three seconds. If it's hot for you, it's best to either not walk your pet or keep them on the grass.

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