Summer dangers for pets: High windows, pavement, cars

Animals

Vet clinics in the region are already treating pets for heat stroke and 'high rise syndrome'

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — High temperatures present many dangers for both people and pets, including falling through open windows.

Some pets in the Portland area have already wound up in animals hospitals with heat stroke. Animals falling through open windows high above ground level — it’s known as “high rise syndrome” — is another concern amid sweltering heat.

Veterinarians told KOIN 6 News they have treated dogs and cats that have fallen and sustained injuries ranging from broken bones to concussions. Many recover — but some don’t.

“Think of your pets just as you would a kid and remember that they are very small, some of them, so the openings in windows — if they see a bird fly by or a squirrel running across the tree, they might get really excited and try to chase it. So you do want to make sure that your windows are secured,” said Dr. Shana O’Marra, the chief medical officer at DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital in Northwest Portland.

To prevent the risk of high rise syndrome, pet owners are advised to keep windows closed and turn on a fan instead of relying on a window screen to keep animals safely indoors.

Pets should never be left inside a car on a hot day, even for short periods of time. Experts say even with the windows open or the air conditioning on, a vehicle will quickly turn into an oven if it’s sitting in the sun. DoveLewis was treating a dog in critical condition on Thursday that was left in a car with the AC on.

In Oregon, it’s legal for a good Samaritan to break into a car with a child or pet inside whom they believe to be in danger. The person must alert police either before or immediately after doing so.

It’s also important to protect your pet’s paws when walking on a hot day. If pavement is too hot to touch for 7-10 seconds with your hand, that means it’s hot enough to burn a dog’s paw pads.

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