DOVER, Del.– With a heat wave blanketing Delmarva, experts are reminding animal owners that high temperatures can cause livestock and pets to suffer from heat-related stress.
"Extreme heat can lead to illness in some animals if not properly treated," said Delaware State Veterinarian Dr. Heather Hirst, who heads the Department of Agriculture's Poultry and Animal Health Section. "Farmers and pet owners should closely monitor their animals to help those suffering effects from the heat."
Hirst said animals at the greatest risk of stress from the heat include pregnant or lactating animals, very young and older animals, animals with darker coats, heavier, fattened livestock, obese pets, short-nosed dog breeds, animals with chronic health conditions and intensively managed livestock or those confined in enclosures with limited access to shade.
According to Hirst, signs of heat stress can include livestock crowding together at the water tank or in the shade, panting, increased salivation, restlessness and muscle spasms, poultry experiencing prolonged panting in poultry and rabbits which are breathing rapidly and stretching out.
Hirst said that in dogs and cats, such signs can include rapid panting, increased heartbeat and body temperature, weakness, lack of coordination, bright red or pale and sticky gums, vomiting, diarrhea and depression.
"These symptoms are preventable and easily treatable," Hirst said. "By being alert, owners can help their animals recover quickly. Contact a veterinarian immediately if your animals experience heat stress symptoms or exhibit other unusual behavior."
Hirst offers the following general tips to animal owners:
Owners should provide shade or move animals to shaded pens.
Provide plenty of cool, clean drinking water and add ice to keep it cool.
Offer a secondary source of water or larger container for pets outside during the day.
Spray animals with water using a sprinkler with large droplets.
Avoid unnecessary transportation- move livestock in the late evening or early morning;
Provide fans to improve air circulation.
Use frozen water bottles in hutches for rabbits to lie against.
In addition, Hirst recommends:
Livestock owners should avoid overworking their animals.
Cattle should be worked in the morning, when their body temperatures are low, and routine activities such as vaccination, hoof trimming and dehorning should be postponed until the weather cools.
Commercial poultry growers should check their fans and inspect their backup generators in the event of a power outage.
Wednesday, May 22 2013 12:22 PM EDT2013-05-22 16:22:49 GMT
MOORE, Okla. (AP)— The cost of a massive tornado that battered an Oklahoma City suburb could be more than $2 billion, according to a preliminary estimate announced Wednesday by the Oklahoma Insurance Department.More
The cost of a massive tornado that battered an Oklahoma City suburb could be more than $2 billion, according to a preliminary official estimate announced Wednesday. State authorities meanwhile said two infants were among the 24 people who perished in the twister.More
Wednesday, May 22 2013 10:12 AM EDT2013-05-22 14:12:14 GMT
UNDATED- Because temperatures are expected to reach well into the 80s this afternoon , Delaware Electric Cooperative and Choptank Electric Cooperative are asking all of their members to voluntarily conserveMore
Because of today's hot and humid weather, Delaware Electric Cooperative and Choptank Electric Cooperative are asking all of its members to voluntarily conserve or limit energy usage between the hours of 3 and 7 p.m.More
Wednesday, May 22 2013 7:51 AM EDT2013-05-22 11:51:15 GMT
SALISBURY, Md.- A former gym teacher who taught at Beaver Run Elementary School in Salisbury was on trial Monday in a "Peeping Tom" case.Jeffrey Brabitz appeared in Wicomico County Circuit Court on chargesMore
A former gym teacher at Beaver Run Elementary School in Salisbury was found not guilty in a "Peeping Tom" case. More