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Frostbite and Hypothermia in Animals

Posted by Andrea on 1st Feb 2020

For those who live in warm climates this is a non-issue, but many of us are currently suffering through the coldest days of the year. And with that cold come conditions that can pose serious threats to our beloved fur families as both frostbite and hyperthermia are very real dangers that, left untreated, can be life threatening.

It is a popular misconception to believe that because they are covered in fur, cats and dogs are well-equipped to withstand cold temperatures. With dogs, it is the smallest breeds that are the most sensitive to cold conditions. A doggie coat is great, but boots are just as good to protect sensitive feet from cold and salt on pavements For cats that go outside, be watchful of the weather forecasts and know that when extreme temperatures are predicted, it is best to keep them indoors and playing happily on their Armarkat tree.

If you suspect frostbite, look for signs such as cold, icy body parts like ears, tail, legs and footpads. Shivering will occur in attempts to generate heat, and skin may appear red or black. To offset these symptoms, do not rub or massage frozen tissue. Do not bathe the animal, but warm the affected areas with warm water applied to towels. Dry the areas gently, and wrap the dog or cat in a blanket to keep him warm while you seek help from your vet.

Hypothermia is the abnormal lowering of body temperature to levels that may cause shock, unconsciousness, and even death. If you suspect that this could be the issue, you may see weakness along with shivering. Seek veterinary care immediately so kidney and bladder functions can be saved. Until you get to the vet, warm the animal with blankets and low-heat water bottles or heating pads.

Be vigilant with your pets, and seek help for other animals that are outside. For more information, please visit: