Heat wave takes heavy toll on Vancouver Island animals

Heat wave takes heavy toll on Vancouver Island animals

Staff at Central Island Veterinary Emergency Hospital in Nanaimo raced to care for a flood of animals that came pouring in with heat stroke on Monday.

The extreme weather had already filled cages with overheated patients and tragically killed four dogs, that were too far gone to be saved over the weekend.

“Their body temperature just starts to skyrocket and they can’t control it at all and then all their organs start to heat up and it can go very badly very quickly for them,” said Tenille McKenzie-Wyatt, a veterinary technician at Central Island Veterinary Emergency Hospital.

Animal care workers recommend having pools, and fans available for pets.

Robert Honeyman had several fans set up in his Nanaimo living room, as scorching hot temperatures rose outside.

“It’s hot enough to fry an egg there,” said Robert Honeyman, referring to his front step.

So the Nanaimo man has kept his dogs inside, and out of the extreme temperatures.

“They don’t go anywhere, in the car, only in the bathtub to get wet. That’s the only place they go,” said Honeyman.

Yet, calls about dogs in hot cars continue to be made. On Saturday, a dog was found panting heavily in a car at a Nanaimo mall — a video of the incident was posted to Twitter — before bystanders made sure animal control got it out safely.

“We need to make sure we are keeping them in the coolest environment we can,” said McKenzie-Wyatt.

The heat is also taking a toll on large animals too.

At the Duncan area rescue called Humanity for Horses, animals have been sprayed down with water around the clock to try to bring their body temperatures down.

“They can suffer heat exhaustion, dehydration really, really quickly,” said Rebecca Sanesh, founder of Humanity for Horses Rescue and Rehab.

“Very scary. I mean these horses have never seen conditions like this before. I don’t; think we have either especially on the Island like it’s really really a concern,” said Sanesh.

With temperatures forecast to drop off only slightly, animal owners are encouraged to keep up their guards as the heat wave is expected to last through to the weekend.

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Skye RyanSkye Ryan

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