Is Ice Water Dangerous for dogs? - Page 1

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by VomMarischal on 12 July 2010 - 15:07

This was on a friend’s facebook page and I thought it was worth passing along...opinions?     I am writing this in hopes that some may learn from what I just went through. We were having a good weekend till Saturday. On Saturday I showed my Baran and left the ring. He was looking good and at the top of his game. He had a chance at no less then one of the two AOM's.   It did not work out that way. After showing we went back to our site/set up and got the dogs in their crates to cool off. After being back about 30 min. I noticed Baran was low on water. I took a hand full of ice from my cooler and put it in his bucket with more water. We then started to get all the dogs Ex'ed and food ready for them.   I had Baran in his 48' crate in the van because this is the place he loves to be. He loves to be able to see everyone and everything. After checking him and thinking he was cooled off enough, we fed him. We walked around and one of my friends stated that Baran seamed like he was choking. I went over and checked on him. He was dry heaving and drooling. I got him out of the crate to check him over and noticed he had not eaten. He was in some distress. I checked him over from head to toe and did not notice anything. I walked him around for about a minute when I noticed that he was starting to bloat. I did everything I was taught to do in this case. I was not able to get him to burp, and we gave him Phasezime.   We rushed Baran to a vet clinic. We called ahead and let them know we were on our way. They were set up and waiting for us. They got Baran stablized very quickly. After Baran was stable and out of distress we transported him to AVREC where he went into surgery to make sure no damage was done to any of his vital organs. I am very happy to say Baran is doing great, there was no damage to any vital organs, and he still loves his food.   In surgery the vet found that Baran's stomach was in its normal anatomic position. We went over what had happened. When I told the vet about the ice water, he asked why I gave him ice water. I said that I have always done this. I told him my history behind this practice and his reply was, "I have been very lucky." The ice water I gave Baran caused violent muscle spasms in his stomach which caused the bloating. Even though I figured his temperature was down enough to feed, and gave him this ice water, I was wrong. His internal temperature was still high. The vet stated that giving a dog ice to chew or ice water is a big NO, NO! There is no reason for a dog to have ice/ice water. Normal water at room temperature, or cooling with cold towels on the inner thigh, is the best way to help cool a dog. The vet explained it to me like this: If you, as a person, fall into a frozen lake what happens to your muscles? They cramp. This is the same as a dog's stomach.   I felt the need to share this with everyone, in the hopes that some may learn from what I went through, I do not wish this on anyone. Baran is home now doing fine. So please if you do use ice and ice water, beware of what could happen.   

by Doberdoodle on 12 July 2010 - 18:07

I knew it was bad to give dogs ice water because (what I thought) it tenses up their stomach muscles, that is why you often see vomiting if a dog drinks ice cold water.  The temp difference is too wide.

I was on the website of a doggie daycare/hotel type place, and it said all the dogs get ice water.  I was thinking how foolish this sounded, as I've seen dogs vomit from drinking cold water (not even with ice, but just ice cold water) especially if they have been running around.

by Liesjers on 12 July 2010 - 18:07

I heard it was bad too so I stopped.  We don't have AC and it's hot and super humid indoors where my dogs stay while I'm at work so I used to put two trays of ice in their water bucket but I stopped and just give them cool water, not even cold.  I do still give them the ice block from my cooler to chew on but it's one huge chunk and they just gnaw at it for fun, don't actually try to eat the whole thing and if they break off a piece they just leave it and keep chewing, and I take it away after half hour or so.

by Doberdoodle on 12 July 2010 - 18:07

Also from the same type of topic, since it's summer...  If a dog gets heat stroke and passes out, some peoples first instinct is to put him in the tub and drench him in ice cold water, this can actually put the dog into shock the AC inspector told me this happened recently. 

Sometimes just air conditioned room and a fan helps, wetting the paws and groin area.  Don't keep wet towels on the dog b/c it holds heat in-- when something gets wet it needs air to take the heat away, the water is just the conductor as it evaporates- that's how sweat works.  Or if internal temp is very high, vet may give a cool water enema, checking the rectal temp every few minutes.

PS Glad your dog was ok!


by Bhaugh on 12 July 2010 - 18:07

I wish I would have had this info last week when one of my dogs was playing in the water. He likes to be squired directly in the face from the hose. He doesnt seem to be taking much water in so I didnt think too much about it. Later in the evening he was throwing up and refused to eat. He had it once before and I took him to the vet with a 200.00 xray bill only to find nothing but at the time I thought he was acting like it was bloat.

Guess that game is out. Hey thanks for posting that!

by VomRuiz on 12 July 2010 - 18:07

Ice water is bad for people too, especially in very hot weather or if you're already dehydrated.
My doctor told me room temp water or only slightly cool.
A girl at work also told me room temp water absorbs better, but I had never heard that before or after :-) So don't hold me to that. ;-)
If I drink ice water, I can feel my stomach knot up and I want to puke, so I imagine the dogs feel the same way but keep drinking it anyway cause it feels refreshing going down and they usually don't know better than to STOP.
When training my dogs always only get just a little bit of warm water and the same afterwards.

by Doberdoodle on 12 July 2010 - 18:07

Why not buy a window unit and keep the dogs in that one room?  Closing your blinds or drapes helps keeping the sun out.  A dehumidifyer is also a good idea, I think its cheaper to run than an AC unit and it helps a lot.  Humidity makes it feel hotter because your sweat cannot evaporate from your skin to cool you b/c the air is already too full of moisture, makes it hard to breathe almost.  I had one in my old apt and would empty an entire bucket of water every 5 hours in the summer!  I've seen them for $99.

They also make several kinds of cooling mats, I don't know how well they work though

by NoCurs on 12 July 2010 - 18:07

Thanks for posting that!


by Sunsilver on 12 July 2010 - 18:07

I have a friend who does agility with her dogs in Arizona and New Mexico. She loves the cooling mats, and she also mists her dogs with cool water from a spray bottle to keep their temperature down.

by jc.carroll on 12 July 2010 - 19:07

When I PT I always drink water at room temp. It doesn't taste as good as cold water; but drinking water too cold will at best cause one to cramp and throw up when the body temp is elevated, and at worst set up for system shock. I have to remind the young sailors not to freeze their water bottles, which a lot of people like to do. I've seen enough people throw up from drinking chilled water; and one kid had to go to the VA. It's something no one thinks about.

Thanks for posting this!

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