Winter weather is here and as the temperatures drop and the wind blows, pets left outside can be at risk of getting frostbite. Today we’ll learn more about frost bite and what your vet can do to treat it in this edition of Pet Pointers.
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Dogs love to be outside, and whether it’s playing in the yard or walking with you, they are susceptible to frostbite when the temperature dips below 32 degrees. While a few breeds are built for cold temperatures like Huskies, most breeds are not. Dogs with thin coats such as Bull Terriers or Greyhounds, puppies, senior dogs and those with health issues such as diabetes are at a greater risk of developing frostbite. Veterinarian Dr. Elise Craft tells us sometimes treating the most serious cases can involve surgery.
Craft said, "Unfortunately many of the most severe cases of frostbite require amputation. The tissue is so damaged that there is not a whole lot we can do to restore circulation and save the digit. So many times amputation is required."
Your dog’s paw pads, tail, genitals, face, lips, ears and eyes can be seriously damaged by frostbite. If you notice severe redness, blisters, scaly tissue or discoloration on their skin, call your vet and seek immediate treatment. Frostbite is extremely painful and getting your pet to the vet ASAP is essential to successful treatment.
Outdoor dogs also should have a proper enclosure with the door facing away from the wind and plenty of straw for bedding or you could let them inside with you.