Did you know that International Mountain Day is December 11? That’s definitely a relevant occasion for us here in Colorado. We are lucky enough to live along the Rockies, one of the most beautiful mountain ranges in the world! A Wheat Ridge, CO vet offers some advice on bringing Fido to higher elevations in this article.
Dogs can and do get elevation sickness, just like people. Of course, many Colorado dogs are already used to living at higher elevations than pups in the rest of the country. However, this is something to consider if you adopt a pooch from a lower altitude, or have friends or family members bringing their canine pals to visit. You’ll also need to pay closer attention to Fido if you’re traveling to a high-altitude spot, such as Alma or Leadville, or perhaps hiking or camping in the mountains. There are certainly many to pick from! We have over 15 mountain ranges here in Colorado, as well as 14 mountains that are over 14,000 feet. In general, any time you bring your pet over 8000 feet, you’ll need to watch for signs of altitude sickness. Pups with allergies and/or heart conditions are more likely to have trouble.
It’s important to know the signs of elevation sickness. Some of these include panting, drooling, coughing, trouble breathing, dizziness, pale gums, vomiting, and nosebleeds. Fido may also seem dizzy and/or show a lack of coordination, and he may get tired quickly. Give your furry buddy lots of water, and then slowly bring him back to a lower elevation. While most pups recover, some do require treatment. Although rare, altitude sickness can cause fluid buildup in your furry friend’s brain or lungs. Err on the side of caution, and contact your vet right away if you notice any of these signs.
Altitude sickness isn’t the only concern to be aware of when taking Fido to the mountains. The Colorado Rockies are home to a wide variety of wild animals, many of which, such as bears and rattlesnakes, are dangerous. Keep your canine companion on a tight leash in mountain areas, and don’t let him poke around spots that may be housing wild animals. Better safe than sorry!
Do you have questions about your dog’s health or care? Contact us, your Wheat Ridge, CO animal clinic, anytime!