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A mile of bloody paw prints illustrates danger of hot pavement to dogs, vets warn

A stoic dog out for a walk in Washington left a mile of bloody paw prints before the owners realized he’d burned his paws on hot pavement, veterinarians say.
A stoic dog out for a walk in Washington left a mile of bloody paw prints before the owners realized he’d burned his paws on hot pavement, veterinarians say. Screengrab from Facebook

Olaf’s one tough dog.

When his owners took Olaf out for a walk on a paved trail in Spokane, Washington, they didn’t detect anything amiss at first, the Medical Lake Veterinary Hospital wrote on Facebook.

“They didn’t notice he had bloody paw prints for a mile,” said veterinarian Dr. Heather O’Bannon, KXLY reported. “He didn’t complain, (whine), or limp or anything.”

“Obviously he didn’t want to stop his walk,” O’Bannon said, according to the station. “He didn’t want to let his owners know.”

Olaf’s paw pads were so severely burned that his muscles were exposed, KEPR reported.

The hospital cleaned up Olaf’s paws, bandaged them and gave him antibiotics, but it will take him months to heal, KXLY reported. O’Bannon suggested owners avoid walking dogs in the heat of the day.

“The best time is in the morning or the evening,” she said, according to the station. “Or at least walk them on the grass if they need to go for a walk during the day, but avoid pavement at all costs.”

“A good rule of thumb is if the pavement is too hot for your hand it’s too hot for your dogs’ pads,” the hospital wrote on Facebook.

Dog booties also are an option, KTVX reported.

Dogs with burned paw pads often limp, vocalize or show other signs of discomfort, according to PetMD. Dogs with severe burns should be treated by a veterinarian.

Another summer danger for dogs is heat stroke, with symptoms that can include “exaggerated panting, rapid heartbeat, high fever, vomiting, staring, anxious expression, and warm, dry skin,” KTVX reported. Dogs should never be left in hot cars.

“Even with the windows down, those temperatures in the car can soar to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or more within minutes,” said Dr. Courtney Howard with Banfield Pet Hospital, according to the station. “These conditions can be fatal to a pet within 10 minutes.”

In Roswell, Ga., a concerned citizen noticed a dog suffering in a hot car and called 911. The first officer arrived in 18 seconds. Watch bodycam footage of the rescue and medical treatment of two dogs suffering from heat stroke. The owner was char

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Don Sweeney has been a newspaper reporter and editor in California for more than 25 years. He has been a real-time reporter based at The Sacramento Bee since 2016.

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