Many people make a comfortable bed for their dog in the garage, where it’s warm and dry, and safe.
However, if at any time you leave your car running with your dog in the garage and the door closed, you put your dog at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
A more likely cause of carbon monoxide poisoning is using a heater in a closed room or in an area with poor air flow.
An open fire can also increase the amount of carbon monoxide in a room. This gas has no smell, color or taste so you may not even know your dog is in danger.
Carbon monoxide affects the ability of the blood to carry oxygen, by attaching itself to the hemoglobin in the red blood cell.
The carbon monoxide is several hundred times more attracted to hemoglobin than oxygen is, so in a competition between it and oxygen to hang onto the hemoglobin, carbon monoxide will win every time. The result is less oxygen reaches your dogs organs and tissues.
Dogs who already have heart or lung disease are more at risk of poisoning and they’re likely to already have reduced oxygen supply to the body.
Symptoms of mild carbon monoxide poisoning are vague and non specific. Dogs are sleepy, perhaps a bit irritable and just don’t seem to feel well.
As poisoning becomes more severe, they become weak, have difficulty breathing and may become comatose and die.
However, one characteristic symptom you cannot miss is that your dog’s skin and gums will be quite red; this happens because the hemoglobin binds to the carbon monoxide and produces a compound that is bright cherry red.
Treatment of mild cases may be as simple as removing your dog from exposure to the gas, and providing fresh air. Severe cases may need hospitalization and