Much of Britain has been sweltering in a heatwave over the last couple of weeks, and though the West coast of Scotland has thus far escaped the really crazy temperatures we’ve still had it pretty scorchio. It’s now well over a week since it’s been cool enough to use Beanie & Biggles’ harnesses on walks, and we’ve had to break out their cooling jackets more than once.
We thought it was pretty warm when I took this shot, but it’s been getting even hotter since!
Prior to this I’d have said that Biggles copes with heat better than Beanie. When the sun’s on her she soon starts panting, but The Bigglet has comparatively few tongue-out moments and often chooses to spend hours sunbathing on his special canvas chair on the deck.
It’s now starting to look as if he doesn’t cope with heat that well after all. Biggles has always being a heavy drinker(!), but in this heat he can drain his water bowl several times in just a few minutes. This despite that fact that I always take water with us on our walks!
Three times now he’s been unwell following a series of hot days. Each time he has what appears to be a sore back. The first time we rushed him to the vet. She prescribed a few days of pain medication with only gentle walks and no silly business (not easy for Biggles), but also suspected a messed up fluid / electrolyte balance. She suggested that in future we give him the odd serving of “Dioralyte” (a rehydration product principally for humans). I’ve followed her recommendations but we’ve had two more occurrences of the “sore back”, and in each case an additional dose of Dioralyte has magically fixed it. I’m no stranger to a messed up salt balance myself; I know exactly how debilitating it can be. I sweat very heavily when exercising and if I only drink water then I soon suffer from throbbing headaches, cramping muscles and sometimes muscle sprains. Sports drinks used to stave this off, but the recent government-driven obsession with reducing salt in foods and drinks seems to have robbed even some sports products of their efficacy. I don’t know if the same health craze has spread to dog food, but it’s possible we need to change something in Biggles’ diet to help keep his fluid & electrolyte balance in check. Either way, he’s getting another trip to the vet for advice and to make sure there isn’t something more sinister behind these incidents.
Biggles considers supplementing his diet with a few buttercups…
Beanie’s not doing herself any favors in this heat either. Even when we’ve got the windows wide open and the fans on full just to make the front lounge tolerable, little Ms. Antisocial still demands that she be covered in her blankie to get a little privacy. The blankie does seem to have acquired a few extra ventilation holes however.