Hot dog death warning to owners

Perth vets have issued a warning to pet owners to keep their animals out of the heat after a Thornlie couple's staffy, Buddha, collapsed on a walk in the Toodyay countryside on a 38C day and later died.

Animal hospitals have reported an increased number of pets admitted with heat-related illnesses in the past few weeks due to hot temperatures.

Most of the 10-year-old staffy's organs failed after he was found collapsed and panting heavily near some fallen trees earlier this month. Buddha's owner, Tyler Gough, took him to Murdoch Pet Emergency Centre, where he was told his dog was very sick and might not survive.

Mr Gough's father, Harry Gough, who often took care of Buddha when his son worked away, said it was a tragedy because the gentle staffy should have had a few more years.

He said Buddha's death was proof people needed to be aware of the effects heat could have on their pets.

MPEC senior registrar Ryan Ong, who treated Buddha, said up to two cases of pets suffering from heat-related illness could attend each day during hot weather.

Dr Ong said most of the animals had pre-existing problems, but owners often did not realise or did not know the signs of heat stroke.

"On any day when it's too hot for you to be outside, it is going to be too hot for them, too," Dr Ong said.

Perth Vet Emergency director Adam Usher said dogs needed access to both shade and water and owners should let their dogs inside so they could cool down in the air-conditioning.

The West Australian

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