There are lots of easy and tasty vegetarian meals that you can add to your repertoire of weekly recipes. With a bit of imagination, vegetarian meals can satisfy what you crave in flavour as well as your hearty appetite. Meat-free Mondays (and Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays…) never tasted this good.
Broccoli and asparagus pasta
· 300g broccoli
· 150g asparagus
· 250g pasta
· 10ml olive oil
· 1 clove of garlic
· 1 chilli (optional)
· 100g sunflower seeds
· 20ml balsamic vinegar
1. In a pot of boiling water, let the broccoli lightly bubble away until cooked but still firm. (Pop the stems in a few minutes before the florets.) Do the same with the asparagus and set the greens aside.
2. Use the same water to cook the pasta until al dente.
3. Meanwhile, dry fry crushed garlic in olive oil with chilli to taste in a frying pan. Keep for later.
4. Spread your seeds on a tray and toast in a hot oven. Afterwards, while the pan is still hot, splash balsamic vinegar over the seeds and let it reduce to a sticky sauce.
5. Toss the vegetables, pasta and seeds together, season with salt and black pepper and sprinkle with a generous handful of grated parmesan or a crumbled disc of feta.
Rich red wine and mushroom risotto
· 250g assorted mushrooms, roughly chopped
· 250ml Arborio rice
· 250ml red wine
· 700ml vegetarian stock
· 2 cloves garlic
· 1 small onion
· 150g parmesan cheese
· Teaspoon of dried thyme (optional)
1. In a large pot, fry the finely chopped onions and garlic in a small amount of butter or oil until translucent. Add the rice and stir, allowing each grain to be coated.
2. In a separate jug, mix the red wine and stock mixture. Now, pour a swig of the liquid into the rice, and stir gently until it has been absorbed. Keep stirring the rice over medium heat, adding liquid every few minutes once the stock and wine mixture has been soaked up.
3. When half the liquid has been absorbed, toss in the roughly chopped mushrooms. Continue with the swigs of stock until it has all cooked through. The rice should be firm, but soft in the middle.
4. Season to taste with salt, black pepper and thyme, and leave to stand for 5 minutes with the lid on. Grate in the parmesan cheese and serve.
Roasted vegetable and pesto pasta
· 500g butternut, diced
· A red, green and yellow pepper, roughly chopped
· 20ml olive oil mixed with vegetable stock
· 250g pasta shells
· 50ml basil pesto (half a little jar)
· 100g cherry tomatoes
· 20ml balsamic vinegar
· Sprinkle of brown sugar
· 150g parmesan cheese
1. Generously drizzle the butternut and peppers with olive oil/vegetable stock mixture and roast in a 180° oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
2. Tumble the tomatoes into a pan on the stove, pour the balsamic vinegar and sugar over them and cook on high heat for a few minutes until the skins of the tomatoes spilt and go sticky. Put aside.
3. Boil the pasta, drain, and stir in the pesto. Add the tomatoes and roasted vegetables, season, and mix in the handfuls of parmesan cheese.
Kim Hofmann RD(SA)
Phone: 021 674 4666
Cell: 084 206 2715
As we head towards the official start of Autumn in March, the temperatures are still warm which is great for planting! It's been remarkable this Summer not to have the same extreme water restrictions we were facing a year ago, but I still find myself unable to go back to the way things were. We have a collective responsibility to be water-wise, regardless of whether the restrictions are extreme, or non-existent.
Speaking of being resource-efficient, here's our March List:
Bush and climber beans, Beetroot, Broccoli, Brussel sprouts, Cabbage, Calendula, Carrot, Chard/Spinach, Celery, Chinese cabbage, Chives, Chilli's, Kale, Kohlrabi, Globe artichokes, Leeks, Leaf mustard, Lettuce, Onion, Parsnip, Parsley, Peas, Radish, Rhubarb
CLAIMING DAMAGES FROM TENANTS & REFUNDING TENANT DEPOSIT
Ensure your documentation is watertight if you need to claim damages from the tenant before refunding their deposit. This all begins before the tenancy starts.
If tenants dispute damages claimed, 99.9% of cases referred by tenants to the Rental Housing Tribunal will be lost by landlords if there are no signed ingoing inspection reports.
In a damages dispute 2 documents would be required:
• A fully signed lease (initialled on every page)
• An ingoing inspection report done together with the tenant at inception of lease recording the condition of the property before the tenant moves in, signed by both parties - tenant & landlord or agent.
The ingoing inspection report is as important as the lease agreement itself. This document, together with pictures taken at inception, is the only way to compare the condition of the property at end of lease to its condition at the start, therefore the only method of determining damage caused by the tenant (excluding Fair Wear and Tear).
Note: pictures without signed ingoing inspection report will not suffice - signed ingoing and outgoing inspections are required in terms of the Rental Housing Act.
Big Mistake: Don't make the mistake of doing the ingoing or outgoing inspection with an occupant if they are not the tenant on the lease (e.g. parent signed as tenant for son or daughter who is the occupant). If this is going to be necessary due to the tenant not being available make sure you get written permission from the tenant (i.e. whose name is on the lease agreement) for the occupant (or representative of tenant) to attend and sign the inspection, or if possible write it into the lease agreement at the start. And also get the tenant to sign the report.
Should I use the damages Deposit for outstanding Rent or for Damages?
If your tenant still owes you rental equivalent to or more than the deposit held, and there are also damages once they have vacated it's wise to use the deposit to pay for repairs to damages to help you re-let the property and earn rental income from a new tenant, and then claim for unpaid rental (summons) from the previous tenant.
And also claiming for rent could be slightly less complicated in the legal process as you should only have to produce a rental invoice or statement (plus lease), whereas claiming for damages would necessitate evidence of the claimable amount.
Deducting Damages from the Deposit and Refunding the Tenant:
After assessing damage with the tenant at the outgoing inspection:
• If there is no new damage and no amounts still owing to the landlord by the Tenant (e.g. utilities or any other unpaid amount) then the Landlord/Agent must refund the full tenant’s deposit plus any interest within 7 days after the termination of the agreement.
• If there is new damage evident and recorded at the outgoing inspection, then before refunding the tenant’s deposit plus interest the Landlord/Agent can deduct the reasonable cost of repairing damage, and in this instance the balance of the damages deposit and accrued interest need to be refunded not later than 14 days of restoration of the Premises.
Note: the tenant is entitled to see invoices for all repairs undertaken.
What happens if the Tenant doesn't attend the Outgoing Inspection?
Should the Tenant not attend the outgoing inspection the Landlord (or agents) are required to inspect the property within 7 days of date of termination of the Lease in order to assess any damage, and in this instance the Tenant’s deposit, or balance of deposit if any after deduction of damages needs to be refunded to the Tenant no later than 21 days after the Termination date.
And if the Landlord doesn’t attend the Outgoing Inspection?
If the Landlord doesn’t conduct this inspection together with the tenant it is deemed that the landlord is acknowledging that the property is in a proper state of repair – the landlord will therefore have no claim for damages and the tenant’s full deposit plus interest will have to be refunded (unless of course there is rental or utilities money owing to the landlord).
Annie McLelland, LettingWorx Rentals
The information contained in this article expresses our thoughts, views and understanding based on our experience and is not to be taken as legal advice. As such LettingWorx Rentals will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information.
LettingWorx Property Rentals
Southern Suburbs, Cape Town
Telephone:083 324 7401
Southern Suburbs, Cape Town
Telephone:083 324 7401
St. Valentine was famous for supporting the Christians during their persecution at the hands of the mighty Romans, circa 250AD. But what does neuroscience tell us about the minds of those people who defend the underdog?
By Dr Samantha J. Brooks Ph.D.
Love is in the air again, and the shops are full of red cards and gifts as we approach the 14th February – or St. Valentine’s Day – the day that the great martyr died in 269AD. Most of us associate Valentine’s Day with love and all things sweet and romantic. This is because, according to one story, when the Roman Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. But Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. However, when Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death. Were Valentine’s actions a true show of love – putting oneself before another? Do his choices to rebel against the Romans demonstrate the true nature of love? How is it that we can put ourselves in a position to be persecuted ourselves? Are there any evolutionary benefits to this seemingly altruistic behaviour?
Think of the persecution – throughout our recent history – of black people, women, Jewish, Muslims, and of those people like Nelson Mandela who were prepared to die to help save people from their struggles. Yet in 2019, as we approach St. Valentine’s Day again, there appears to be a lack of universal altruism, as we seem more intent than ever on satisfying our own desires at the expense of the planet and of other people’s feelings. So what can neuroscience tell us about the kind of selfless love that St. Valentine champions? What are the neural correlates of altruism, why do our brains sometimes act in this way, and is it normal?
In his recent work, The Altruistic Brain, neuroscientist Donald Pfaff sets out his Altruistic Brain Theory (ABT), which suggests that human beings are “hardwired” to be good, just as we are “hardwired” to acquire natural language(s). This means that our brains may be genetically predisposed to function in a manner that prioritises the needs of the other before our own, which could also be why John Donne famously quipped that no man is an island. If the bells tolls for someone, it also tolls for us. The philanthropic view is an optimistic view of humanity, reflected in the behaviours of Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg donating large proportions of their wealth, not to their children, but to social causes. However, others like Prof Steven Pinker, who wrote the book Better Angels of our Nature, suggest that human nature is rather prone to violence and Schadenfreude – experiencing pleasure from others’ misfortune – and that it is only in recent years that we have reduced this tendency to be so hostile. So which is it? Are our brains predisposed to philantrophy and love, or to violence and aggression?
To answer this question we might turn to Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalysis, a field of neuroscientific The id stands for all those selfish, childish desires we want to immediately satisfy, sometimes aggressively at the expense of others. It is associated with the unconscious dopaminergic drive system deep in the mid-brain, where our passions and our animal tendencies are found. The superego represents what our parents, or society have taught us, the idealogical right or wrong, and is found in the prefrontal cortex – that part of the brain that allows us to hold in mind perfectionistic beliefs about ourselves and the world around us. But perhaps the healthiest part of this mind system – the ego – is a referee in the middle, keeping the two competing factions (the id and superego) at bay, so that one is not more dominant than the other. The part of the brain responsible for the ego is called the anterior cingulate cortex. We cannot always be good, or in love, or virtuous, nor can we go around being aggressive all the time. Sometimes it is right to act aggressively when someone tries to attack, or not to love everybody all of the time, and sometimes is it good to show you care. It is often complicated to know which option is the best, but the anterior cingulate referee tries to help us choose the right outcome in any given situation.study which views the human mind as tripartite, comprising of the id, the ego and the superego, representing our animal instincts, our reality and our perfectionistic personas respectively. And the movement called Neuropsychoanalysis, led by UCT’s Professor Mark Solms and colleagues, has got closer to pinpointing where in the brain these mental compartments lie.
Given that our minds are dynamic – changing from moment to moment to help us adapt to the demands of the environment – there is never any hard and fast rule as to which is best. However, we are social animals, and the root of altruism – like those selfless acts carried out by St. Valentine – probably have a hidden, rewarding value to us. The sceptics view of altruism is that there is always something in it for us! Sending a card or flowers or chocolates, or just showing our feelings to that special person in our life may give us a comforting sense of security that we have a lifelong companion. And as loving partners grow together they begin to mimic behaviours and expressions that reinforce patterns of behaviour. Such behaviour can be linked to increased levels of a chemical called oxytocin in the brain, which strengthens our ability to bond with another person, be it a baby or an adult. And so while the id may be the most powerful, unconscious force in our brains, directing our minds to satisfy our basic urges, those who are better able to bond with others by performing selfless acts may stand a better chance of surviving and thriving in society. Had St. Valentine learned to bond with the Romans he might well have been able to continue marrying couples in love while also sparing his own life!
What is quite clear though, as we approach St. Valentine’s Day this year, is that the collective aggressive, self-serving, consumerist mind appears to be dominant. It has led to a rise in global warming, border-building, increased poverty, a rise in cancer and illness, and a general sense of disorder across the planet. As such, perhaps we should not only think about our loved ones this Valentine’s Day, but also what can we do, as individuals, to love the Earth before we serve ourselves. Happy Valentine’s Day Harfielders!
Dr Samantha Brooks is a cognitive neuroscientist specialising in the neural correlates of impulse control from eating disorders to addiction. For more information on neuroscience and to contact Samantha, see www.drsamanthabrooks.com
If you want to be wealthy, stop borrowing to pay for all the things that may make you feel rich – like fancy cocktails, designer clothes and furniture, luxury cars and overseas holidays - and start saving to buy a home as soon as possible.
That’s the word from Rudi Botha, CEO of BetterBond*, the country’s biggest mortgage originator, who says a lack of financial education in SA is causing too many young people to confuse the outward signs of prosperity with real wealth, “which is all about acquiring assets that are going to keep growing in value”.
This misconception, he says, is reflected in the overuse of credit cards and personal loans and the fact that unsecured lending continues to grow at a much faster rate than securing lending such as home loans. “According to the latest available Reserve Bank figures, household unsecured credit balances, which include credit cards, overdrafts and personal loans, have been on a rising trend since the start of 2018 and showed a year-on-year growth rate of 8% at the end of October.
“By contrast, household secured credit balances, which include home loans and vehicle finance, showed a year-on-year growth rate of 4,4% at the end of October, with most of the growth coming from vehicle finance and other instalment sales. Separated out, the total value of outstanding home loan balances showed year-on-year growth of just 3,8% at the end of October.”
However, says Botha, the truth is that you can buy nothing with a credit card or a personal loan – with the possible exception of a home improvement – that is going to increase your actual wealth. “In fact, this type of borrowing will systematically make you poorer because whatever you buy will steadily decrease in value to the point that it is hardly worth anything by the time you have spent a lot of money paying for it.
“What is more, being saddled with the high-interest rate monthly repayments on credit cards and personal loans will inhibit your ability to save a deposit, obtain a home loan and buy your first home and start laying the foundation of your future wealth.”
Although property values have grown very slowly over the past few years, he says, young people should have no doubt that home ownership is the best way for most ordinary consumers to build wealth. “For example, recent figures from the US Federal Reserve show that the net worth of the average homeowner is 44 times as much as the net worth of the average tenant – and that the gap is even bigger for people over 65, when those who are homeowners have usually paid off their bonds.
“Meanwhile, figures from FNB show that real (after inflation) home values in SA have grown by an average of almost 90% since 2001 – which is of course great news for those who might have bought their homes then and by now are almost finished paying them off.”
In addition, Botha notes, a home purchase is just about the only investment that ordinary consumers can ‘gear’ by paying a relatively small percentage of the purchase price as a deposit, in order to reap all the benefits of any growth on the total value. “Indeed, starting by buying a home is the only way for most young people to really get ahead and start building real wealth for themselves and their families that will give them a real stake in the economy.
“What is more, it is the only one where the process can be accelerated through their own efforts to build equity at the same time as the asset is growing in value – and as SA’s top bond originator that is something we can really help with, by using our multiple-lender application process to make sure they obtain a home loan at the lowest interest rate possible.”
Most buyers are not aware of this, he says, but even a relatively small reduction in interest rate can make a really big difference to the speed with which you are able to pay off your bond – and to the interest rate savings which you can then add to your wealth.
“On a 20-year home loan of R1m, for example, a 0,5% interest rate reduction will shave almost R4000 a year off your bond repayments, and if you keep putting just that amount back into your home loan account, you will pay off your home two years early and save more than R143 000 in interest.”
*BetterBond currently accounts for more than 25% of all new mortgage bonds registered in the Deeds Office annually and its statistics are a reliable indicator of the state of South Africa’s residential property market.
Anne-Marie Bamber is Norgarb Properties dedicated Home Loans Consultant. She has over 15 years’ experience in assisting clients with their Home Loan needs and has placed many happy families in their dream homes.
Contact her today for no cost stress-free home-buying.
Home Loans consultant
Tel: +27 (0)21 851 3568 | Fax: +27 (0)21 441 1494 | Cell: +27 (0)82 071 1665
For years graffiti has been the bane of any upstanding society, with hasty tags scrawled across private property and illegal pieces pasted on the sides of train cars and over public walls. But graffiti has stepped into the spotlight in recent years, with more people seeing the art behind the street culture and commissioning pieces for their private property, advertising purposes, or beautification of public areas. Commissioned murals for private property are a growing trend and we’re seeing more and more people hiring local street artists to create amazing pieces as part of their interior and exterior décor.
Creative Garden Wall Art
Murals are no longer confined to your kids bedroom wall, instead they are spilling out into gardens, creating vibrant, interesting décor that can breathe new life into the simplest of spaces. From bold pieces that create a modern statement to creative and colourful artworks that combine an urban attitude with the lushness of nature, there is something for everyone.
[street_artist_mural_contemporary_wall_art] image from idealhome.co.uk
This piece combines clever décor with a monotone mural to create a modern, contemporary look.
|Image from pinterest.com|
Get a local artist to paint your wall:
A street artist mural can add a whole new feel to your garden or home and is worth looking into. Some great local artists to contact are:
This up and coming street artist is only 17 years old yet has already participated in gallery projects in Paris, Berlin, Madagascar, New York, Switzerland, and Cape Town.
Faith47 is a well-known Capetonian artist who’s art is inspired by the mind, character and spirit of the human condition. She has been creating street art for decades and all over the world. If you live in Cape Town, you’ll probably be familiar with her murals in the city.
Another Cape Town artist, 28 year old Nardstar creates traditionally inspired street art with a fresh spin, vibrant colour palette and strong cubist influence.
At 43, he is one of the older artists around, having started with street art in the late 80’s. He paints larger than life images in bright colours and is well known for his elephant murals which he has painted all over the world.
Another young up and coming artist, Sonny started a mere 7 years ago, transitioning from pencil work into full on street artist murals. He is well known for his vibrant artwork of animals, which he creates to raise awareness about endangered animals.
If you’re looking to have a street artist mural painted on your street facing wall, you’ll have to look into the legalities of it. A graffiti bylaw passed in recent years states that all street artists need permission of the property owner and those living in the vicinity before they may start a project. As a home owner you’ll need to know that the law states the following:
“Any person who intends applying a mural or any one of or a combination of any inscription, word, figure, letter, sign, symbol, sketch, picture, drawing or design to any natural surface or man-made surface on any property, which will be visible to a person from a public place, must apply in writing to the authorised official for a permit to do so.”
The application for this permit must be accompanied by proof of consent, not only from the property owner but also from the surrounding property owners and any other interested or affected parties. It must also contain full details as to the motivation for applying the wall art, the intended size thereof, the materials and implements which shall be used, and an illustration or depiction of the intended artwork. If you want a street artist mural, it can surely be done, but make sure to follow the bylaws to avoid any unwanted charges.
Norgarb Properties Agent Andre Ter Moshuizen who specialises in the Claremont area, shares some household tips and handy home hints with you every month. Read more of his articles here.
Andre Ter Moshuizen: 082 602 1367 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.norgarbproperties.co.za
(Best served hot with rooti, naan bread or rice)
1kg Chicken Breasts
1kg Onions (chopped)
1/2 kg Tomatoes (approx 3)
5ml (1 tsp) Chicken Masala
5ml (1 tsp) Tandoori spice
5ml (1 tsp) Jeera
2ml (1/2 tsp) Tumeric Powder
10ml (2 tsp) Salt
15ml (1 Tbsp) Garlic Paste
15ml (1 Tbsp) Lemon Juice
60ml Plain Yoghurt
125ml (1/2 cup) Fresh Cream
15ml (1 Tbsp) Sugar
1 Bunch Dhanya (Corriander)
15ml (1 Tbsp) Tomato Paste (optional)
1. Braise onions and butter until transparent
2. Add all spices and simmer till a thick sauce.
3. Add chicken and stir in yoghurt, lemon juice and garlic
4. Add half bunch chopped dhanya and simmer until chicken is done.
5. Add fresh cream and sugar and simmer.
6. Sprinkle the rest of dhanya on top and serve hot with rooti, naan bread or rice.
7. Add tomato paste to add colour.
Lyn Staples, Norgarb Properties Estate Agent
Cell: +27 (0)82 846 0739 | Office: +27 (0)21 674 1120 | Fax: +27 (0)21 774 4927
Focus Areas: Kenilworth & Claremont Village
Cell: +27 (0)82 846 0739 | Office: +27 (0)21 674 1120 | Fax: +27 (0)21 774 4927
Focus Areas: Kenilworth & Claremont Village
Organic composting with Zero to Landfill
Food waste going into landfills releases methane gas, a powerful contributor to global warming. Composting food waste and organic matter is a much better option Melanie Jones from Zero to Landfill (ZTL) will be joining us at the February garden party to discuss setting up a food waste composting collection point in Harfield Parks so that residents of Harfield Village can bring their food waste to be composted for R1/kg. She may also accept garden waste depending on volume.
Once ZTL can prove to the CIty that food waste separation and composting is easy and people are interested in doing it, they hope the City will start offering the service to all residents, but they will need to be shown how it is done.
ZTL will donate compost to Harfield Parks made from food waste so people can see there is a benefit to the parks and that food waste can be made into quality compost. The Organics Recycling Association of South Africa is also supporting this initiative so there will hopefully be more of these drop off spots around Cape Town.
We would like residents to participate in making eco-bricks and creating projects to use them. An enormous amount of plastic waste can be packed into a single bottle. This keeps the waste out of the environment and addresses the problem of all those tiny bits of plastic that are never recycled but choke and kill so many animals. A demonstration of how to make eco-bricks will be given at the gardening party. There is also a local eco-brick initiative in Harfield - here’s their Facebook page.
Kenilworth Station Upgrade
FOHP stalwart Gail Brown has been the driving force behind the garden along the railway (Worcester Road and First Avenue). The Kenilworth end of the area is always the hardest to keep maintained and poor support from the businesses around the parking area on Second Avenue has meant that any initiative struggles to be sustainable. A few years ago the parking area was redesigned and refurbished to accommodate more parking spaces as well as islands with trees. However the work done was shoddy and never fully completed and now the Councillor for Ward 58, Sharon Cottle has informed us that the area will be redone again. We hope that this will not be another waste of ratepayers money. Maintenance is key to the success of the refurbishments. Any residents who live in the area who are interested in being involved please contact us or send your comments to the councillor, Sharon.Cottle@capetown.gov.za.
Litter in the Parks
Although the FOHP are very concerned about the littering in our parks, the dustbins are in fact under the care of City Parks. Therefore full dustbins should always first be reported on the City Service requests page on the City of Cape Town website. It is very easy to use. This instantly creates a service request which is acted upon by the relevant City department.
Whether there should be more dustbins in the parks is a matter open for discussion. Last year the dustbin in Hampstead Park at the children's play area was removed as the dustbin was creating a health issue being constantly filled by street people sorting through bags.
The removal of that specific bin has been very successful as the children no longer play around disgusting messes. However, the problem of street people sorting through dustbin bags has not been solved and the misuse of the dustbins for household rubbish is a big problem. Placing more bins in the parks does not solve this problem. We urge all residents to recycle their household rubbish and remove the cause of the litter at source.
Please report any person seen littering or drinking alcohol in the parks. This can also be done on the City web page. Please take photos of the litter issues and send them to email@example.com as we are building a photo record of by-law violations in the parks.
FOHP is asking for City to address the problem of people living on the streets, to provide facilities for people who are using public open spaces, to provide cigarette butt bins, to enforce the law prohibiting drinking alcohol in public spaces, littering and sleeping in the parks. Ultimately it does depend on the residents using the parks and being proactive in addressing any problems, be it picking up litter, reporting problems or gently reminding people that public spaces are there to be used with respect.
Railway cleanup first Sunday in May
Finally, we would like to remind people far in advance of the annual railway cleanup on the first Sunday of May (the 5th). More reminders will follow.
Purchasers often find themselves in a position where they are eager make an offer on a property, but not sure yet in whose name or in which entity they would like to register the property. If not handled correctly, SARS may levy double transfer duty on such transactions.
There are two options available to such Purchasers; the first option is to add “or nominee” after the Purchaser’s name. The Purchaser then has until midnight of the day of acceptance of the offer to nominate another party as Purchaser, failing which, the first Purchaser will remain bound by the agreement or they may attract double transfer duty.
The second option is where a special condition may be inserted into an offer whereby the Purchaser may require the Seller to enter into a Tripartite agreement with another party on the same terms and conditions as contained in the offer being made, usually within a set timeframe. Provided the purchase price remains the same and the Tripartite is correctly drafted, these transactions do not attract double transfer duty.
Contact Martin Sheard of STBB for any conveyancing queries at MartinS@stbb.co.za.
Heatstroke is a kind of hyperthermia that usually occurs when your pet is unable to regulate its core body temperature. This happens when your pet is generating more heat than it can lose. Heat stroke can cause severe heat damage to delicate tissues in your pets’ body.
Unlike humans, cats and dogs have very few sweat glands, just a few on their paws and around their noses, so they cannot rely on perspiration to help them stay cool. Under normal circumstances your pet will be able to reduce their core temperature through panting. They may also ‘redirect’ blood to dilated blood vessels close to the surface of the skin which allows heat to leave the body.
However, things can get scary when your pet is severely overheated if their temperature reaches anything in excess of 41 – 42 degrees C. damage can be caused to almost every organ of the body.
Some pets are particularly susceptible to heat stroke especially those that are already compromised, such as obese animals and those suffering from physiological conditionssuch as heart disease and diabetes.
The flat nosed breeds ie; bulldogs, pugs etc, and breeds that suffer from laryngeal spasm (when the larynx closes blocking the airway) such as Labradors, can be vulnerable particularly when stressed. Geriatrics and breeds with thick, heavy coats are also more likely to struggle in hot weather.
As summer temperatures soar, we as pet owners, need to be aware of the signs of heat stroke, how we can try to prevent it and what we can do to help if disaster strikes.
Signs and Symptoms..
• Excessive Panting
• Loud, rasping breaths
• Bright red gums
• Exhaustion /Lethargy/ collapse
Most people associate heat stroke with dogs, but cats can also find themselves in trouble. One of our own cats ‘Baggins’ suffered from heatstroke when he managed to get himself locked in our neighbour’s trailer on a very hot day. We were lucky that the neighbour heard him meowing, but Baggins was in a pretty bad state when he found him. Fortunately, our neighbour hosed him down before handing a very stressed, bedraggled cat over the fence to us! Baggins’ temperature was off the thermometer so we continued to treat him for heat stroke. He definitely lost one of his lives on that day!
If you suspect that your dog or cat may be suffering from heat stroke the first thing you must do iscool them down. This can be easier said than done particularly with cats as they do tend to have an eversion to water.
What to do…
- Hose your dog/cat down gently or place in a basin of cool water.
- Scruff your cat - even if your cat is collapsed it will help you keep control
- Keep your pets head above water.
Apply a wet cloth around the head to try to prevent any swelling of the brain, Ice packs (or a pack of frozen peas) can be placed under the ‘armpits’ and in the groin area. If possible, use a fan to help cool down a wet pet!
If your pet is conscious allow it to drink cold water if it wants to. Call your vet and let them know you are on your way.
Because heatstroke can cause damage to internal organs and tissues it is important that you get your pet checked out by a veterinarian. Your vet will be able to monitor your pet’s temperature and he/she may need to administer intravenous fluids or other supportive treatment depending on the severity of the heat stroke.
We all love our pets and try our best to be responsible owners so here are some tips to help you avoid an unnecessary trip to the vet !
A) Avoid exercising your pet at the hottest times of the day.
Temperatures can be deceiving especially on those overcast summer days. If you are planning a walk, run or hike consider the following:
1) How long will you be?
2) Will water be available en route for your pet to drink/ swim/ cool off in?
3) Will there be shady areas where you can take a break?
B) DO NOT leave your pet unattended in your car – even with windows open -temperatures inside a vehicle can soar!
C) At home be sure your pet always has access to shade and fresh water .
D) Pets with long coats should be clipped or well-groomed in the summer time to remove unnecessary undercoat, mats and tangles as this can prevent air from circulating.