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VCA Animal Referral & Emergency Center of Arizona discusses summer injuries

Posted at 8:34 AM, Sep 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-17 13:14:13-04

VCA Animal Referral & Emergency Center of Arizona is a paid advertiser of Sonoran Living

Summer in Arizona is hot but not all risks to our pets are from the heat. Other common summer related injuries include paw pad burns and drowning.

Burned paw pads occur in 2 ways - walking on hot asphalt or prolonged walking over moderately warm ground (such as hiking even in 70° F weather). The ground holds onto heat and can be much warmer than the air temperature. Before you walk your pet, put your palm on the ground. If it's too warm for you to hold your hand down, it's too warm for your pet's feet.

Paws can be protected during summer months by placing booties on a pet's feet. Often these take some time for a pet to get used to wearing but most dogs will tolerate them well once they've had time to adjust.

If a pet's paws become burned or you are concerned for injury, seek veterinary evaluation. Management often involves cleaning and bandaging the paws to allow them time to heal and recover. Even once the pads have started to heal, they will require protection which is where booties can also help.

Drowning is uncommon but does happen, primarily to dogs. Drowning leads to fluid in the lungs which creates inflammation making it difficult for oxygen to reach the blood stream. If your pet has been found in a pool, please dry them and seek immediate veterinary care. Treatment includes oxygen support and in severe cases mechanical ventilation can be necessary.

Drowning is most common in old and young dogs who may be clumsy or stumble and be unable to right themselves once they have fallen into the pool. Dogs with seizures should be kept away from the pool when unsupervised to prevent them from falling in should a seizure happen. Most dogs with drowning injury recover however the lung injury can be severe and life-threatening even with appropriate treatment.

At VCA Animal Referral & Emergency Center of Arizona, we help pets live longer, healthier, and happier lives through the highest quality critical care, surgery, oncology, and internal medicine services, as well as emergency care at all times.

Located in Mesa, our outstanding supporting staff are trained to the highest standards to help ensure that all our patients receive the best in healing care.

Our hospital has been serving Arizona for over 50 years and will continue to be here when you pets need us. We are available to serve your emergency needs 24/7, our specialists are available Monday through Saturday.

For more information call 480-877-0191 or visit