Beware giving ice water or feeding ice cubes!
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Thread: Beware giving ice water or feeding ice cubes!

  1. #1
    Senior Member Dieselsmama's Avatar
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    Beware giving ice water or feeding ice cubes!

    This is something all dog owners should know. Even with the smallest breeds
    need to remember never to give dogs iced or very cold water.

    This was posted on another board with permission to cross post in the hopes
    of saving another dog from having to go through this awful experience.

    After showing we went back to our site/set up and got the dogs in their
    crates to cool off. After being back about 30min. I noticed **** was low on
    water. I took a hand full of ice from my cooler and put it in his bucket
    with more water. (Note: I use a small Playmate cooler at ringside with ice
    water in it also. Have for over 15 years now) I use small 2qt. buckets in my
    crates. He had maybe a bucket when I placed him in his crate after coming
    back from the ring. We all then started to get all the dogs Ex'ed and food
    ready for them.

    I have an 18 foot trailer with AC and set up, as a rolling kennel it fits 7-
    42" crates, and MY express Van holds 1- 48", 1- 42", and 3- 36", crates. All
    the crates in the van have 24 " box fans over them. I had **** in his 48'
    crate in the van because that is the place he loves to be. He loves to be
    able to see everyone and everything. After checking the dogs and thinking
    they were cooled off enough we fed everyone. As we were walking around
    removing the feed dishes from the crates, one of my friends stated that ****
    seamed like he was choking. I went over and checked on him and he was dry
    heaving and was drooling. I got him out of the crate to check him over and
    noticed he had not eaten. He was in some distress. I checked him over from
    head to toe and did not notice anything. I walked him around for about a
    min. when I noticed that he was starting to Bloat. I did everything I was
    taught to do in this case. I was not able to get him to burp, and we gave
    him Phasezime.

    We jumped on the golf cart to take him down to the Show vet to find out that
    he did not have a bloat kit, He referred us to the clinic that was to be on
    call, but we found out that the clinic was closed. After finding another
    clinic that was open we rushed **** to that one. We called ahead and let
    them know that we were on our way. They were set up and waiting for us and
    they got **** stabilized very quickly. After **** was stable and out of
    distress we transported **** to AVREC where he went into surgery to make
    sure no damage was done to any of his vital organs. I am very happy to say
    that **** is doing great, there was no damage to any vital organs, and he
    still loves his food.

    In surgery the doctor found that ***** stomach was in its normal anatomic
    position. The Doctor and I went over the events of what happened up to the
    point of **** Bloating. When I told him about the ice water he asked why I
    gave him ice water, and have I always done this. I told him my history
    behind this practice and his reply was "I have been very lucky for the past
    15 years." The ice water I gave **** caused violent Muscle spasm in his
    stomach which caused the bloating. Even though I figured his temp was down
    enough to feed, and give him this ice water his internal temp was still
    high. Dr. Vogf stated that giving dog's ice to chew or ice water is a big
    NO, NO; there should be no reason for them to have ice/ice water. Normal
    water (room Temp.), or cooling with cold towels on the inter thigh, is the
    best way to help cool a dog. How Dr. Vogf explained it to me was like this:
    If you, as a person fall into a frozen lake what happens to our muscles?
    Think about that, then compare that to your dog's stomach.

    I felt the need to share this with everyone, in the hopes that some may
    learn from what I went through, I do not wish this on anyone. **** is home
    now doing fine. He does not like the fact that he has to be walked on lead
    in the yard to keep him from running. He hates not being able to go out and
    rough house with the others, but is doing great. So please if you do use ice
    and ice water, beware as what could happen.
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  3. #2
    Senior Member Erick Aguilar's Avatar
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    Re: Beware giving ice water or feeding ice cubes!

    Ah yes, that's why i only give Apollo two ice cubes after a walk.
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    Senior Member Xeph's Avatar
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    Re: Beware giving ice water or feeding ice cubes!

    I must disagree with the vet....we advise puppy people to give their teething puppies ice cubes....I gave some ice water to my dogs on my trip down to TX...the water would get warm too quickly and the ice kept it cooler longer.

    There are LOTS of reasons that dogs will bloat (In GSDs it is thought in part to be genetics). Just because this ONE dog bloated from ice water (if that is even really the cause) is not a reason not to give it SPARINGLY to a dog that is not overly hot.

    I do not let my dogs eat for about an hour after they've done heavy running, and water is limited (and it is not ice water then), but when they are at rest and the water heats too quickly, yes, I give them ice water....but they do not guzzle it.

    I also cool my dogs with cold sprays to the groin, belly, and feet.
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    Senior Member FilleBelle's Avatar
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    Re: Beware giving ice water or feeding ice cubes!

    Huh...I would be interested in hearing more research on this topic. Not that I don't believe the vet in question, just that there seems to be a lot of anecdotal evidence that suggests ice cubes are not particularly dangerous. Perhaps they more more dangerous just before a meal?


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    Senior Member Xeph's Avatar
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    Re: Beware giving ice water or feeding ice cubes!

    I can see how it would be dangerous, Fille Belle, if it had been right after a heavy run or what have you...that's like giving an overheated horse ice cold water...hello colic, down he goes.

    But it should not interrupt the system of a normal healthy animal in such a volatile way.
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    Senior Member Spicy1_VV's Avatar
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    Re: Beware giving ice water or feeding ice cubes!

    Xeph I totally agree.

    There are many benign things which could induce bloat in a particular dog, but would not be harmful to most dogs.

    I can't see the comparison of falling in ice cold water vs drinking ice water or eating ice cubes. If the Dr wanted to make a comparison it would be to humans drinking ice cold water and eating ice cubes, of which I know happens probably daily without issues.

    A dog being plunged in cold water would be more comparable to a person falling in ice cold water. Of course some dogs fair better in cold water then others and of course then people.
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    Re: Beware giving ice water or feeding ice cubes!

    Our vet says its Ok to give the dog ice cubes to mess with.

    In the wild don't animals drink out of ice cold streams / lakes, eat snow, etc for water ?

    People drink ice cold drinks after running around.

    Working dogs will regularly jump into very cold water, which I realize is external, but still .....
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    Senior Member winniec777's Avatar
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    Re: Beware giving ice water or feeding ice cubes!

    We took our dog to the e-vet because she threw up so violently after having ice water that it caused some bleeding. I didn't make any connection with the temperature of the water but the vet told us that cold water can cause vomiting and not to give it to her again. Not saying it's related to bloat, just that it did give my dog a problem.
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    Re: Beware giving ice water or feeding ice cubes!

    Do you think it was possible that the dog got an ice cube stuck in the throat and by the time the dog was taken to the vet it melted?
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    Senior Member HORSEandHOUND's Avatar
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    Re: Beware giving ice water or feeding ice cubes!

    There were several studies done on this topic for horses during the 96' olympic games in Atlanta so that horses could better deal with the heat. Icy cold water is totally fine, so is taking a horse and dowsing them with water while they still have elevated respiration and heart rate.
    IMHO the vet needs to go back to school, and out of common courtesy you should remove his name from the story as well.
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    Senior Member Kina_A's Avatar
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    Re: Beware giving ice water or feeding ice cubes!

    Lola's Dad, that's what I was thinking!
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    Senior Member Nargle's Avatar
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    Re: Beware giving ice water or feeding ice cubes!

    I'm sort of confused. How do you define ice water? Room temperature water with ice cubes in it? Water cold enough to start developing ice cristals? Or water that's been refridgerated? I ask this because Basil won't touch ice or water with ice in it, but I give him water from our filtered water pitcher, which is refridgerated.


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    Senior Member Xeph's Avatar
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    Re: Beware giving ice water or feeding ice cubes!

    That's interesting H&H....I was always taught it was a bad idea to give a hardworked horse uber cold water, and that room temperature was best.
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    Senior Member Nargle's Avatar
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    Re: Beware giving ice water or feeding ice cubes!

    Quote Originally Posted by Xeph View Post
    That's interesting H&H....I was always taught it was a bad idea to give a hardworked horse uber cold water, and that room temperature was best.
    When I was in marching band our water bottles would get really hot under the sun, and it made a lot of kids throw up, so they started bringing coolers of cold water. I guess any drastic temperature change when the body is under stress can't be good.


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    Senior Member Independent George's Avatar
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    Re: Beware giving ice water or feeding ice cubes!

    Wait a minute... do you guys mean to tell me that something on the INTERNET might not be 100% accurate?
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    Senior Member trumpetjock's Avatar
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    Re: Beware giving ice water or feeding ice cubes!

    Quote Originally Posted by Independent George View Post
    Wait a minute... do you guys mean to tell me that something on the INTERNET might not be 100% accurate?
    Lies! The interwebz knows all!
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    Senior Member Independent George's Avatar
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    Re: Beware giving ice water or feeding ice cubes!

    I'm suspicious, because the writing style sounds exactly like the stuff that is forwarded around in email chains and eventually winds up on Snopes. Unless you can find the original author was, I'm trusting my BS detector.

    After Googling, the nearest thing I could find to a sourced article is this:

    Can bloat be attributed to feeding your dog ice or ice water?

    A: 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.
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    Senior Member Renoman's Avatar
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    Re: Beware giving ice water or feeding ice cubes!

    Quote Originally Posted by Lolas_Dad View Post
    Do you think it was possible that the dog got an ice cube stuck in the throat and by the time the dog was taken to the vet it melted?
    Ice starts to melt the moment it enters the body. It would have melted long before they got to the vet.


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    Re: Beware giving ice water or feeding ice cubes!

    Quote Originally Posted by Renoman View Post
    Ice starts to melt the moment it enters the body. It would have melted long before they got to the vet.
    Well lets not get to technical here but if you want to do that the OP was stating he rushed the dog first to the show vet. So it is possible that the ice cube was not fully melted yet. Of course that would all depend on the size of the ice cube, the temperature of the dogs throat, the temperature of the air and the melting rate of the ice cube. Not knowing all those facts without actually doing a scientific experiment and actually being there we both could be correct

    We jumped on the golf cart to take him down to the Show vet to find out that he did not have a bloat kit, He referred us to the clinic that was to be on call, but we found out that the clinic was closed.
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    Senior Member tirluc's Avatar
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    Re: Beware giving ice water or feeding ice cubes!

    under normal conditions, ice/ice water is fine to give to your dog but when a dogs (internal) body temp (or any animal, for that matter) is up from exercise, stress, etc. it is recommended to give them only room temp water (drinks) and only in small amounts until the body temp is brought down....haven't you ever had your stomach cramp after drinking an ice cold beverage after a run or something? it works the same on dogs/horses/etc....ask any horse racer, they'll tell you the same thing....
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