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Dog Days of Summer: Central Georgia vets warn of heat-related injuries

Veterinarian Vernard Hodges is already seeing cases of heat exhaustion.

HOUSTON COUNTY, Ga. — As the sun shines and temperatures climb, one Central Georgia veterinarian says it's important to make sure that your pooch is protected.

In the past week, Dr. Vernard Hodges, who runs Critter Fixer in Houston County, has already seen dogs come in with temperatures of 107 degrees.

"It's super hot. I mean, with this heat stroke, people don't really get it. You can overheat really really fast, both people and pets," Hodges said.

Hodges says excessive panting, drooling, and foam at the mouth are signs that your dog may be having a heat stroke. 

He advises against ice baths to cool your pet down. Instead, he says to drape a cool towel over them to cool their body temperature down slowly. 

Hodges also says it's important to be mindful of where and what time of day you walk your dog. 

13WMAZ used a laser thermometer to check the temperature of the parking lot at the Macon Dog Park Thursday afternoon and it was just over 140 degrees.

"On these hot days, if you have to walk your dog, you definitely want to walk them on some grass. The grass is not going to radiate and reflect the heat as much as that concrete," Hodges said. 

Experts say you should put your hand on the concrete to check the temperature. If it's too hot for you, it's too hot for your dog. 

If your dog has a thick coat, Hodges says you should trim, not shave, your dog's coat this time of year. Shaving your dog increases the risk of sunburn.

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