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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Beloved dog 'died of heatstroke from the hair dryer' at professional grooming session

By Daily Mail Reporter

Sadie, a Lhasa Apso, died after developing heatstroke.
Her owner claims cage dryers, used by groomers to speed drying time, are at fault

A California woman is suing a pet store chain after her beloved Sadie, a Lhasa Apso, died from heatstroke.

Teresa Gilland claims that Sadie, her six-year-old pet, developed heatstroke while sitting in a cage dryer after receiving a shave and haircut at a California Petco.

Cage dryers direct air – sometimes heated – on dogs to dry them after baths. The cage dryer is attached to a kennel, where the dog sits until it is dry. If left unattended, some veterinarians, groomers and pet owners say, overheating and injury can result.

Ms Gilland says that, a few hours after dropping Sadie off for her monthly grooming appointment in July 2008, she received a phone call from the store alerting her that blood had been found in Sadie’s kennel. She was told to meet Sadie and a Petco employee at a veterinary clinic.

Ms Gilland and her husband found Sadie in a kennel with an oxygen mask attached to her face at the veterinarian’s. Medical records confirm that Sadie was in ‘severe respiratory distress’ from heatstroke.

Sadie was transported by ambulance to a hospital for further treatment. According to hospital records, however, Sadie’s condition became worse, and she was put down. The veterinarian confirms she died of ‘severe heatstroke.’

After Sadie’s death, Ms Gilland asked to see the kennel where Sadie was kept after her grooming. Ms Gilland says she found smears of blood and scratch marks inside. She also claims that the store’s managers confirmed that Sadie had been kept in the kennel, with the cage dryer, when she first grew ill.

Sadie died after a grooming session at a California Petco

Though Petco did not confirm the type or heat level of the cage dryer, Ms Gilland's
attorney claims the store's dryer had heat settings of upwards of 100 degrees.

Sadie had a temperature of 107 degrees when she first arrived at the veterinary clinic, approximately five to seven degrees higher than a dog’s normal temperature.

Karl Jandrey, a UC Davis emergency-care veterinarian confirmed that heatstroke could potentially be caused by a cage dryer. Heatstroke, he told The Sacramento Bee, results from being exposed to ‘a relatively high temperature over a short period of time, or a not-so-high temperature over a long period of time.’

Cage dryers usually feature a range of settings and levels of heat, as well as an air-only setting. Some have timers. But critics claim that kennels often overheat, that timers can malfunction, and that distracted or busy groomers often fail to check on the dogs.

But the dryers save groomers time because they are faster than towel-drying animals by hand.

Cage dryers, like this one, often have timers and a variety of heat settings. But some experts warn that using any heat setting poses danger to pets

After a nearly two-year long search for a lawyer open to her case, Ms Gilland hired Christine Garcia, a San Francisco-based attorney who specializes in animal cases.

They filed a civil lawsuit in Sacramento Superior Court alleging wrongful death and negligence. Ms Gilland is seeking unspecified monetary damages.

‘I want Petco to stop using these machines, or at least post warnings to customers about them,’ Ms Gilland told The Sacramento Bee. ‘This, for me, has been just devastating. I don't want it to happen to anyone else.’

But according to Ms Garcia, during mediation sessions, Petco refused to stop using cage dryers. The store asked that the case be dismissed last December.

Earlier this month, a judge ruled that Ms Gilland’s case will go forward. Hearings are to be scheduled as early as August.

Promising legislation in New York would limit the use of cage dryers. In June of this year, the New York State Assembly unanimously passed a bill that would ban the use of heated cage dryers. The bill now awaits the state senate.



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