Frozen Paws!!!

KNOW WHEN IT’S TOO COLD

Providing fresh air, exercise and stimulation for your dog during the cold weather is important, but there is such a thing as too cold. As a general rule, if it’s too frigid for you, it’s probably too cold for your dog, too. Remember, young and senior dogs and those with conditions such as arthritis struggle even more in the cold. Watch for signs that your pooch can’t handle the deep chill; they can include shaking, cowering, repeatedly lifting up her feet and continuously trying to go back inside.

What is frostbite?

frostbite_in_dogs_general_information-1_2009Frostbite  is the damage that is caused to skin and other tissues due to extreme cold. When the environmental temperature drops below 32°F (0°C), blood vessels close to the skin start to narrow or constrict. This constriction of the blood vessels helps to preserve core body temperature by diverting blood toward the core and away from the cooler parts of the body. In extreme cold or when the body is exposed to cold for long periods, this protective mechanism can reduce blood flow in some areas of the body, especially the extremities, to critically low levels. The combination of cold temperature and reduced blood flow can allow the tissues to freeze, causing severe tissue injury. Frostbite is most likely to happen in body parts farthest from the heart and in tissues with a lot of exposed surface area.

Where is a dog or cat more likely to get frostbite?The paws, ears and tail are the most common tissues to be affected. If a dog or cat is wet or damp, these areas are more vulnerable to frostbite.  

How is frostbite treated?

If you suspect your dog or cat has frostbite, you should seek medical attention immediately. Interim first aid suggestions that you can begin include:

  • Move your pet to a warm, dry area as quickly and as safely as possible.
  • If your pet is suffering from hypothermia or low core body temperature, treat the hypothermia first. Do this slowly by wrapping its body in warm dry towels or blankets and placing hot water bottles wrapped in towels near its body.
  • DO NOT rub or massage the affected area.
  • If you are outdoors, DO NOT warm a frostbitten area if you cannot keep it warm. Additional cold exposure or refreezing will more severely injure the tissues.
  • You may carefully warm the affected area with warm (NOT HOT) water. The recommended water temperature is 104 to 108°F (40 to 42°C) – at this temperature, you should be able to comfortably place your hand in the warm water. If the water is too hot, you may cause more damage than not using any water at all. You may apply warm water compresses or soak the affected area in a bowl of warm water. DO NOT use direct dry heat such as a heating pad or hair dryer.
  • After you have warmed the area, pat it dry carefully and thoroughly.
  • While traveling to the veterinarian for further medical treatment, keep your dog warm by wrapping the pet in dry towels or blankets that have been warmed in the clothes dryer.
  • DO NOT give any pain medication unless specifically instructed by your veterinarian. Many human pain relievers, including acetaminophen and aspirin can be toxic to pets.

LIMIT OUTSIDE TIME

If the weather is too cold for you then its too cold for your pets to be out for too long. below 25 degrees

  • do not walk your dog or leave your cat outside for more than just a potty break maybe 5 minutes.
  • Extra food and ALWAYS have fresh water and shelter for livestock
  • poultry need Deep Shavings fresh water and extra corn at night
  • Rabbits fresh water fresh hay in a potty box to keep them warm