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Malignant Hyperthermia? Exertional Rhabdomyolisis?


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So last night a friend agreed to watch my dogs for me so I could go sell myself for charity in Baltimore :P. When I got there, we put them out in the yard with her lab Blake and her son Colin. Colin was throwing a cuz toy for Zuri, who was muzzled so he got pretty worked up (this is a typical activity for him at the dog park and has never been a problem before). At the time, it was about 80 degrees, totally shady, but humid. Overall though, it was NOT particularly hot and it never crossed my mind that it would be an issue. So as I was getting ready to leave we brought the dogs inside and I noticed that Zuri was panting really heavily and starting to look very disoriented and weak, really red gums, squinty eyes, etc. so out into the yard we went where we hooked up the hose. Several minutes in, he still wasn't doing well so I used Emily's thermometer to take him temp (with the promise to replace it :blush) and it was at 107.9! We did manage to get it down to about 103, at which point we stopped, toweled him off and put him in his crate. He was again fine after that, acting normally and totally fine today.

 

Obviously it's time for me to refresh myself on malignant hyperthermia and the different types of rhabdomyolisis, but in the meantime I wanted to get thoughts from you guys. Or if you have any good resources on any of these topics (web links preferably) that you can pass along, or have dealt with any in your own dog, I would like to hear about it.

 

My concern is that the first incident set something off and now we are going to have to deal with this on a permanent basis. I've had him for over a year and he's a very active dog, so I find it hard to believe that this is a problem he's had all along and that it's just never popped up before. Considering all the hiking we do, and playing in the dog park, I'm sure there's been the opportunity. Or maybe it's just an odd coincidence and it won't happen again?

 

I did manage to bother the sports medicine orthopod during Neyla's vet visit about it. He recommended that I not worry unless it happens again, in which case he told me to call him and he'd call around to some track vets who would know more about the issue. He also gave me some additional suggestions on what to do if it does happen which I found helpful, including keeping bottles of rubbing alcohol and pepcid AC on hand. I'm going to make a "car kit" that includes 6 or so bottles of rubbing alcohol, the pepcid, a huge bottle of water and a dog bowl, and some other first aid items just to have for other issues while I'm at it. Any suggestions for items to include are also appreciated - I figured some vet wrap, some basic bandages, neosporin, Benadryl, some spare Tramadol, that type of stuff.

 

Thanks in advance for any input. Sorry, I know this is a long post, and I do plan to do some of my own research, but I was hoping maybe someone else has seen this pop up in this fashion and could give me some insight. Zuri is a really young dog, really hoping this isn't going to be a long term issue. :(

 

Thanks,

Jen

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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Guest KennelMom

Care of the Racing Greyhound is a great resource for these types of questions. I haven't ordered the new version (yet) but my older version is very well used and dog eared. There are several sites online that have quoted the CoTRG's entry on rhabdomyolysis.

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I would keep a close eye on him and keep him quiet next few days.

 

If it happens again, cool him as best you can and then straight to the vet. Temp above 105 is not something to mess with.

 

He might just not know when to quit. Having somebody throw a ball is pretty exciting stuff!

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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This is not exertion related.

Malignant Hyperthermia

 

Heatstroke &

Exertional Rhabdomyolisis

 

Definitely if it ever happens again cool him and get to the vet. A temp of 105 and above can be deadly very quickly.

Greyhound angels at the bridge- Casey, Charlie, Maggie, Molly, Renie, Lucy & Teddy. Beagle angels Peanut and Charlie. And to all the 4 legged Bridge souls who have touched my heart, thank you. When a greyhound looks into you eyes it seems they touch your very soul.

"A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more then he loves himself". Josh Billings

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Interesting comments in the article from Greytlady that extreme excitability can cause these types of problems. My friend had a hard time believing that the muzzle/toy combo could cause such a dangerous situation, but he gets SO worked up - digging at the ball frantically and trying to get it that I assumed it had to contribute. It really didn't make sense otherwise as it wasn't that hot. Normally in the dog park if he's going to be muzzled I pick up all of the toys so he can't do that, but they were playing outside while I was setting his crate up inside so I didn't realize he was doing it for a period of time. And Batmom, you are right on, he doesn't know when to stop. I joke that he's borderline OCD and also that his cuz toy is his pacifier. I've never seen a dog get so focused on things like he does. It's great for training (he would be an awesome dog for flyball competition), but not so great when it comes to his SA and apparently this. :(

 

I did watch for anything abnormal with his urine today but everything is fine. He's due for his annual exam though, which includes a yearly blood chem, so we'll have a look at that when he's in to be safe.

 

I'm pretty sure Meredith has the newer version of COTRG so I'll see if I can take a look at her copy. Definitely need to order my own copy of that book though - have been meaning to for some time.

 

Thanks everyone. Any other thoughts/suggestions are welcome. For now, I think I will continue to let him run as long as it's not hot, but eliminate any situations where he might get as worked up as he did. And of course this weekend we're keeping quiet per my vet's advice from last time.

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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Guest DorianGreyhound

I really do not know but find this very interesting. I learn something here every day, and I'm far from a newbie Grey/dog owner. I hope your pup is okay.

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When I ran the adoption kennel at KC, we used toys in the turnout pens to give the dogs exercise. There were always a few dogs that would toally exhaust themselves in 5 minutes or less. Frantic with the toys. Those dogs only got 5 min.

 

This is serious business when they overheat. They can die.

 

One other point - cooled rubbing alcohol does work well to bring down the temperature in a hurry, but it CAN bring it down too quickly.

 

I agree with Batmom -- flood the dog with a hose - be sure to include the underbelly and chest - then get to a vet!!! Do everything you can to avoid the overheating to begin with. This situation can truly be a tragedy.

 

I'm really glad your boy is ok.

 

 

Ann

 

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When I ran the adoption kennel at KC, we used toys in the turnout pens to give the dogs exercise. There were always a few dogs that would toally exhaust themselves in 5 minutes or less. Frantic with the toys. Those dogs only got 5 min.

 

Did you ever see these dogs overheat or have this type of reaction?

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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Guest Greensleeves
including keeping bottles of rubbing alcohol and pepcid AC on hand.

 

Can I ask for more details about this? I assume the alcohol is applied topically, since its rapid evaporation point makes it cooling to the the touch... but how do you apply it? And what is the Pepcid for?

 

Hugs to you and your boy--very scary.

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Did you ever see these dogs overheat or have this type of reaction?

 

There was a little girl who had just been home a week with first time adopters. She had been running the fence with a neighbor dog for what they said was just a very short time - not more than 5 minutes. She died on the way to the vet.

 

At the kennel, you could just sense the difference in how these dogs played so frantically with a ball and didn't cool down easily. It didn't happen with many dogs - once in a while one would come in that reacted like this. If it was hot and or humid, we would find another way to entertain those dogs in place of playtime. We also would switch playtime for all the dogs to the mornings if it was going to be hot or humid or skip playtime altogether. We didn't have any overheat at the kennel.

 

The dogs race in hot/humid weather, but they are only running hard for 30 seconds or so and immediately cooled in an air conditioned shower room. It's a world of difference.

 

Hyperthermia is scary.

Ann

 

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Guest Pat2003

A few weeks ago Diva had a heat episode at the fun run. This was just before you posted about Zuri's first episode. It wasn't that hot and the humidity was low, much like today's weather. She ran three runs in a row (bad Phil), came out seemingly fine. I took her out to the parking lot for a cool down walk and she suddenly went all wobblely. We poored water over her and soaked her feet in the water bowls. Put her in the car with the AC blasting on high. When we got home she hopped out of the car, trotted up the steps, and immediately started playing with her toys just like Zuri did. So far, we haven't had any other incidents.

 

When we go to the fun run or to play with our daughter's dogs, I put a wet terry cool down coat in a small cooler with ice packs (the kind you freeze), just in case. You might want to add something like this to your medical kit. If you don't have a cool down coat a bath towel would probably do fine.

 

What kind of thermometer do you use for a dog? Would a human rectal thermometer work or do you need a special kind?

 

I know how scary this is and I hope Zuri won't have any more episodes. I can't wait till frost :)

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Yes, it can become a recurring problem. Some dogs are more sensitive to heat. Most important is to cool them down quickly, water is better than alcohol. Dogs can not cool off through evaporation as people do and any kind of cool down coat/towel can quickly add to the problem, they hold in the heat and you basically steam your dog.

Those who would give up Essential Liberty
to purchase a little Temporary Safety,
deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
Ben Franklin

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Guest KennelMom
What kind of thermometer do you use for a dog? Would a human rectal thermometer work or do you need a special kind?

 

A regular digital thermometer will work. We have a BRIGHT yellow sponge bob squarepants thermometer for the dogs and a normal color thermometer for humans. Very different colors/designs b/c there is no way I want to get the two mixed up! :blink:

 

I second Cheryl - the best way to cool a dog is water. Cool water run over their ears, chest, underbelly, thighs, etc...I would stay far away from any coat you put on a dog. The heat needs to dissapate off the dog, not get trapped next to their body.

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Sorry Jen, I don't have any experience with this. :( My guys turn into total spuds when it is hot/humid-- they won't even do yard zoomies. (they do them inside in the AC instead :rolleyes: ) When I coursed Sully a bit, a couple of the days were really hot and humid. He did ok with it, but there was a hose available to hose off any dogs that needed it. On the other hand, neither of my guys get very worked up for even 5 minutes: I think that really could have a very different effect than a 30 second run.

 

Pat, for a thermometer, we just use a regular digital here. It -WAS- our thermometer.... it is now the dog thermometer :blush

In vino veritas
Rachael with Rook, missing Sully, Sebau, and Diesel

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Hey Jen,

 

Just seeing this :(

 

Yup, as Cheryl noted, it can become a recurring problem which is what i think happened to Stu. I think he was either prone to it or had it before, which is how he ended up with it on the haul.

 

And yes, I do have the new CRRG (in soft and hard cover - yes, I'm a total geek).

 

If it is serious exertional rhabdomyolosis, he should be painful in the saddle area/neck (you remember how Stu was). I can either send you a pdf of the section on it in CRRG on Tuesday, or I'll loan you a copy next Sunday at the picnic. Let me know.

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Guest Pat2003

 

 

When I mentioned the cool-down coat or towel it was because Jen camps and hikes with her dogs and hosing the dog down may not be an option. I did not mean to just put the coat on and forget about it, instead I was suggesting something easily carried in remote places. By placing the wet cold coat (which is made of thin terry cloth) or towel on the dog until the coat/towel is no longer cold then wrapping the ice packs in the coat/towel and applying to the stomach and neck you should be able to get the temp down rapidly.

 

Another suggestion would be a few cold packs (the kind you just knock on a hard surface to activate) that are small and light and could be easily carried, but you would need to wrap them in a small towel and not place directly on the skin.

 

Obviously, the best treatment would be hosing the dog off and getting him into a cool environment, but that is not always possible and speed is of the essence.

 

Care of the Racing Greyhound does mention the role humidity plays in exertional rhabdomyolysis.

 

KennelMom I love the Sponge Bob digital thermometer - it's on my shopping list :lol:

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I help two friends with their Whippets. They do straight racing (they are very good at it, too). They always have pools of water available, and that's the first thing I head for after a heat. Soak the dog, head to tail, then walk out the dog (to prevent cramping). I start out walking at a pretty good clip, then gradually slow down, till the panting calms a bit. Then I offer water, and walk a bit more. Then the dog is crated (still wet), and offered more water.

 

This was the protocol recommended by those who have done this for a long time. We've never had a problem, even in hot, humid weather.

Sarah, the human, Henley, and Armani the Borzoi boys, and Brubeck the Deerhound.
Always in our hearts, Gunnar, Naples the Greyhounds, Cooper and Manero, the Borzoi, and King-kitty, at the Rainbow Bridge.

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Guest DorianGreyhound

I hose mine constantly at the park... today I could not bc I put Advantix on Dori and Epic... blah! So I really watched Epic, my runner. Dorian doesn't run except early in the AM.

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Hey Jen,

 

Just seeing this :(

 

Yup, as Cheryl noted, it can become a recurring problem which is what i think happened to Stu. I think he was either prone to it or had it before, which is how he ended up with it on the haul.

 

And yes, I do have the new CRRG (in soft and hard cover - yes, I'm a total geek).

 

If it is serious exertional rhabdomyolosis, he should be painful in the saddle area/neck (you remember how Stu was). I can either send you a pdf of the section on it in CRRG on Tuesday, or I'll loan you a copy next Sunday at the picnic. Let me know.

 

Would be great if you could do either, whatever is easier/better for you just so I can take a look. Thank you!

 

I don't think Zuri had any soreness afterward, but he spent the night overnight at a friend's so it's hard to say 100%. I think he would likely hide anything like that if he were feeling good otherwise, and b/c we wanted to take things easy we didn't walk on Friday and only walked for about 30 minutes in the early morning on Saturday. Yesterday morning we did do a hike (a short one for us though) and he did fine.

 

FYI, for those who had questions about the alcohol, I believe that was a suggestion of something to keep on hand in case you can't get to a hose or some sort of running water immediately. At home, Zuri can just go in the shower, but since that's the least likely place for it to happen (since I don't have a yard) I thought having it in my car would be a good idea. You would just apply it to the crucial places you'd want water, feet, under the belly/neck etc where the blood vessels are. Pat, I also really like the idea of those ice packs that you can "ignite" to get cold. Those would be good for carrying on hikes when I would have NO other recourse if he started to overheat and we weren't near a water source, and would also be good for keeping in the car.

 

The pepcid is to protect his stomach as apparently one of the first systems to go is the GI tract, which can lead to ulcers. He suggested the pepcid as a preventative. It certainly can't hurt!

 

BUT...hopefully we're not dealing with this again, ever!

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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