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Three dogs die at Enchanted Rock due to heat stroke

Texas Parks and Wildlife said two dogs died on Monday Aug. 20 and another died Sunday Aug. 26.

LLANO COUNTY, Texas — These triple digit temperatures can be deadly.

At the Enchanted Rock State Natural Area near Fredericksburg, three dogs died in the past week due to heat stroke.

Texas Parks and Wildlife said two dogs died on Monday Aug. 20 and another died Sunday Aug. 26.

TPWD said one of the instances was a combination of old age and dehydration.

RELATED | How to protect your furry friends in the summer heat

Thirty five people suffered heat-related illnesses at Enchanted Rock so far in 2018, according to the park staff.

Credit: Trejo, Rebeca

As with other heat-related illnesses, the symptoms start off mild and can continue to escalate to vomiting, diarrhea and ultimately death.

Cedar Park veterinarian Dr. William Campbell, of Parmer Lane Pet Hospital, said symptoms of heat exhaustion include, "excessive panting, drooling, the tongue will get bright red.”

Dr. Campbell said sometimes dogs will lay down.

“I think one of the big problems is people on hikes will keep the dogs moving,” said Dr. Campbell. “The dog is telling them I want to lay down and rest. And the people want to get to the top so they keep pushing the dog.”

When you notice these symptoms, Campbell said give the dog water, pour cool water on their head or neck and give them a chance to rest.

Heat stroke can leave lasting damage, according to Campbell.

"Brain damage, kidney damage,” he said. “Blood clotting disorders.”

KVUE talked to dog owner Krista Tergerson at St. Edward’s Park – a popular hiking location in northwest Austin.

She said she makes sure her dog Nikita stays hydrated.

"We bring several bottles of water or even the gallon jugs of water,” said Tergerson.

She visited Enchanted Rock a couple weeks ago with Nikita, but did not finish her trip because of the heat.

“I probably got maybe five, 10 minutes in if that,” she said. “I turned around and went back. It was just too hot. She was panting and you know there's not much shade to rest in and the rocks just so hot."

Tergerson said she can always return to parks when it's less hot.

"Enchanted Rock is still going to be there in the fall,” said Tergerson. “So, just wait until a cooler time to go back."

Dr. Campbell added that flat nosed dogs like pugs, bull dogs and shih-tzus can be more susceptible to the heat.

He said if you leave your dogs outside, make sure they have shade and fresh water and never tie them up.

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