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Giving dogs ice or ice water on hot days will not make them bloat and die

By Staff Report
Published On: Aug 06 2014 07:36:28 AM CDT
Updated On: Jul 21 2014 09:16:15 PM CDT

KVIA

Cute Jack Russell terrier in El Paso.

A piece being shared on Facebook and other social media claims that giving your dog ice or ice water on a hot day will likely cause it to die from bloating and spasms.

Officials with the Humane Society of El Paso say it's not true.

"The claims are untrue," the Humane Society of El Paso said about the Internet rumor. "Reports from veterinarians and our own vet indicate that drinking ice or cold water is not inherently dangerous for dogs and does not cause bloat as claimed in the warning message. While the dog discussed in the message may have indeed suffered bloat, there is no evidence to support the claim that the condition was caused by ice. We suggest you always double check with your vet on things you're really unsure of but ice is safe."

Snopes.com, a website known for proving/disproving myths, has debunked myth as well.

In the Snopes.com piece, the website cites veterinarian Dr. Audrey Harvey's writings on the subject in July 2011 as proof that giving ice or ice water will not kill dogs. From Harvey's writing:

There have been rumors that ice and ice water causes a spasm of the stomach muscle in dogs, leading to a swollen stomach, and potentially fatal bloat. These rumors are not true, for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, while ice may cause a muscle spasm, this is more likely to cause vomiting. Secondly, if ice caused bloating, then we'd see more cases of bloat during winter in dogs that live outdoors in cold parts of the country, where their water bowl ices over, and this isn't the case.

I think that what is more likely is that dogs are given ice or iced water to drink when they are hot and thirsty, for example after heavy exercise. Under these circumstances, they are very likely to drink a lot of water very quickly, and this is a known risk factor for bloat. To prevent your dog getting bloat, feed several small meals a day instead of one or two large ones, don’t let them drink lots of water at once, and avoid exercise for an hour or so after mealtime.

Snopes.com also cited Dr. Page Wages of the Oberlin Animal Hospital when asked if bloat can be attributed to giving your dog ice or ice water.

Not directly. If your dog drinks the ice water or eats the ice cubes too fast, there is a potential to lead to bloat.

Bloat is a condition in a dog or cat when they eat too much or too fast, and suck in air with the food or water, allowing the stomach to fill with gas. Most often, dogs will eat their meal very fast and then run or play, sucking in air as they bounce around, filling their stomach. Some dogs will bloat by eating too much too fast. Regardless, the stomach fills with gas and is at risk for flipping, causing a GDV (Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus), which is an emergency condition and required immediate surgery. Dogs with bloat or a GDV can very quickly go into shock and if stretched too far can potentially slough part of their stomach, which is life threatening.

Most common breeds susceptible to bloat are the deep chested dogs, like Bassett Hounds, Standard Poodles, Labradors, Weimaraner, Shepherds, etc.

Read the full Snopes.com piece at http://bit.ly/1nPIdr0 and share this article so dog owners will know it's okay to give their dogs ice and ice water.

Watch video with tips on keeping pets cool at http://bit.ly/1pJf6so

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