Year after year, in times of stifling heat, we incline to offer our dog something refreshing, such as ice water or ice chunks. But it’s sure? Is the effect of ice on dogs known? Keep reading because, in this article, we will analyze it.
The myth about the deadly effect of ice on dogs
There is a widespread belief that the intake of frost or ice water is dangerous for dogs. It can supposedly cause stomach bloating that can lead them to develop acute gastric volvulus dilation syndrome, a life-threatening condition.
What is acute gastric dilatation-volvulus syndrome?
Acute gastric dilatation-volvulus (DVG) is a severe condition, with mortality rates ranging from 10% to 60 %. The dilation-volvulus gastric occurs as a result of the accumulation of gas, liquid, or a combination of both in the stomach.
Thus, the stomach is distended with the gas or liquid, and rotation occurs along the axis of the esophagus and the heart. Factors associated with the onset of this syndrome include aerophagia, exercise immediately after eating a meal, and overeating.
What races are susceptible to this syndrome?
Animals most commonly affected by DVG include large or giant, deep-breasted dogs. This description covers the Great Dane, the German shepherd, the standard poodle, and the large mixed breed dogs.
Early diagnosis, medical stabilization, surgical intervention, and postoperative monitoring are essential factors in reducing the mortality rate.
Can ice intake induce this syndrome?
There is no evidence that ice intake has to do with the development of DVG. The real danger to your dog comes from the animal consuming too much water or doing it too quickly, having swallowed the right amount of air along the way.
Despite the lack of danger of DVG, veterinarians do not recommend giving a dog too much ice water after an intense game session. Think about it, if you are hot and drink a glass of ice water and down it, what happens?
What you should satisfy leads to pain and discomfort. It may not be harmful, but why would you do this to your dog?
In these circumstances, when they are hot and thirsty, they are likely to down a lot of water. Downing a lot of water is a known risk factor for stomach bloating.
To prevent your dog from swelling, feed several small meals a day instead of one or two large ones. Do not let him drink a lot of water at once and avoid exercising at least one hour after the meal.
Is there a dental effect of ice in dogs?
Yes, ice cubes are a common cause of teeth breakage in dogs. It is known that the more significant and harder the hub, the higher the chances of this happening.
Chewing anything hard often can cause significant wear on tooth enamel. One option is to offer smaller chips or cubes to help avoid these problems.
Can the intake of ice in dogs lead to drowning?
Choking with a large ice cube is possible if the dog fails to chew it. Again, it is a better option to offer small pieces of ice or ice scrapes to avoid this risk.
On the other hand, animals that have lost teeth or have the advanced dental disease have a lower ability to chew and have a higher risk of drowning. Similarly, dogs that have respiratory difficulties or some neurological disorder may present an increased risk of drowning with an ice cube.
It is always sensible to consult with your veterinarian if you are concerned about your dog’s ability to chew and ingest ice cubes.
In the case of heatstroke, can ice be used on dogs?
In an overheating situation, experts advise against the use of ice. The indication for these cases is to offer cold water, but notice. The dog should cool down gradually to avoid sudden vasoconstriction.
In heatstroke, it is essential to promote the cooling process without delay. It is recommended to wet the dog with water at room temperature – with emphasis on belly and back – except for the head area. Then you have to go quickly to the veterinary office.
Even if you manage to control a heatstroke of your dog at home, it is a good idea to go to the veterinarian so that you are sure that your dog has not suffered internal damage. It is essential to recognize the signs of a heat stroke: redness of the gums, vomiting, heavy gasps, wobble, confusion, difficulty breathing, hot skin, and thick saliva.