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The risk of learning dog behaviours & health through Online Media

Recently, there had been a rumor spreading throughout the internet, it is about dogs getting gastric cramps and risking their lives after eating ice cubes or drinking ice water, here's how the story goes:

"WARNING regarding Ice Water and Ice Cubes in your Dogs [sic] Water Bowl
Hello Everyone,
I am writing this in hopes that some may learn from what I just went through. We were having a good weekend till Saturday. On Saturday I showed my Baran and left the ring. He was looking good and at the top of his game. He had a chance at no less then one of the two AOM's.
It did not work out that way. After showing we went back to our site/set up and got the dogs in their crates to cool off. After being back about 30 min. I noticed Baran was low on water. I took a hand full of ice from my cooler and put it in his bucket with more water. We then started to get all the dogs Ex'ed and food ready for them.
I had Baran in his 48' crate in the van because this is the place he loves to be. He loves to be able to see everyone and everything. After checking him and thinking he was cooled off enough, we fed him. We walked around and one of my friends stated that Baran seamed like he was choking. I went over and checked on him. He was dry heaving and 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 minute 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 rushed Baran to a vet clinic. We called ahead and let them know we were on our way. They were set up and waiting for us. They got Baran stablized very quickly. After Baran was stable and out of distress we transported him 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 Baran is doing great, there was no damage to any vital organs, and he still loves his food.
In surgery the vet found that Baran's stomach was in its normal anatomic position. We went over what had happened. When I told the vet about the ice water, he asked why I gave him ice water. I said that I have always done this. I told him my history behind this practice and his reply was, "I have been very lucky." The ice water I gave Baran caused violent muscle spasms in his stomach which caused the bloating. Even though I figured his temperature was down enough to feed, and gave him this ice water, I was wrong. His internal temperature was still high. The vet stated that giving a dog ice to chew or ice water is a big NO, NO! There is no reason for a dog to have ice/ice water. Normal water at room temperature, or cooling with cold towels on the inner thigh, is the best way to help cool a dog. The vet explained it to me like this: If you, as a person, fall into a frozen lake what happens to your muscles? They cramp. This is the same as a 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. Baran is home now doing fine. So please if you do use ice and ice water, beware of what could happen."

For us, we would never put 100% trust in online articles especially those that came from individual dog owners themselves, reason is because when it's online, people can say and claim whatever they want to, sometimes even real situation encountered on 1 dog cannot account for millions of dogs out there, people do experiments thinking they can do exactly what scientists and veterinarians are doing, claiming things that sound authentic to inexperienced owners out there. Usually 90% of these "online experiments" are inaccurate due to the lack of knowledge and lab based environment.

Luckily, some vets were able to debunk the recent rumor:

While we understand that friends, family and fellow dog owners are just trying to help by sharing information like this, it is very important to first verify if the news is real before spreading them, we already have more than enough rumors that are just there as a prank and some people take it rather seriously, sometimes even resulting in endangering their pet's life unknowingly, this was also part of the reason we created the 101 Dog Myths, to let people understand what is real and what is not. Online materials might be good to learn more about things that you have already knew or have doubts with, it does not make you an expert, if so anyone can be a veterinarian, trainer or even nutritionist by just using google. If owners can be so ignorant as to feed their dogs with loads of junk - sugar, carbohydrates, grains then why would they think that ice will kill their dogs?

Using internet the right way
For example: you had just visited the vet and has doubts about the medication given, yes go ahead and look up online about the medicine, if there is something that seems off, consult back your vet and ask about the things you have read, if there are still doubts then consult another vet. Never use remedies you see in the internet, what works for one dog does not work for every dogs out there, most owners diagnose their dogs wrongly and give them the wrong solution, resulting in risking their dog's health/behavior even further, at times even endangering their lives.

Even when dog behaviors are of concerned, the internet is NEVER the right tool to learn about them, we will list down reasons why you are taking risk when using online media to learn about dogs:

• You don't know who's behind the article
Yes, most people will sign off their name after every post/article, but have you seen the person? Are you able to verify if the person is what he/she claim to be? If no, then why are you risking your dog's health by taking these advices?

Every article is usually writing by different individuals
Understanding dogs is not like picking fruits and vegetables, you do not go to different websites and pluck things to insert into your head, this way of learning will only cause you to do everything wrongly. We noticed that a lot of owners confuse their dogs by applying solutions that are all mixed up together, this is when dogs become unstable and start to portray unwanted behaviors. When it comes to dog health and behavior, you should not apply solutions from 2 vets/trainers at one go and apply everything together, this will simply make things worst!

Every single dog is different
Once again, what works on one dog may not work on others, if you had noticed, we would never claim that certain solution will definitely work on your dog. Even with step by step tutorials we will always try to emphasize that it works on average dogs, not every single one of them out there, we would also tell people that everything in this blog is of personal opinions, if you need proper advice and solution then we will have to access your dog personally to understand what's best for it.

There is no certainty whether the article is true
Some are just out there to make a prank on the internet because they find it fun, some share it because someone said so, others do it because it happened on their dog, so they said, but is it true? Does what they claimed exactly according to what professional has diagnosed? For example the ice article, if it really happened, did the vet say that all dogs cannot eat ice or drink water? Think about it and you will understand our point.

Please consider all the above points when you want to find solutions for your dog in future, we have seen way too much rumors that had caused a lot of dogs to suffer because of their inexperienced owners.


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