Does my dog have frostbite?

With the extreme weather we can experience during the winter in Michigan, it’s important to make sure that your furry friend is not overly exposed to the elements. If you suspect that your dog or cat has frostbite, it’s essential to get to the vet immediately.

  • At first, frostbitten areas will look pale or grey, and will feel hard and/or cold. As it begins to thaw, the area may take on a red color. Be very gentle, as thawing can be excruciating.
  • To help the thawing process, gently wrap the affected area with a warm (not too warm) damp washcloth. It is still essential to seek veterinary assistance, as severe frostbite can lead to limb loss.
  • Wrap your pet in a warm blanket when transporting to the vet for frostbite treatment.
  • When you bring in your pet for suspected frostbite, it is also important to have him or her evaluated for hypothermia.
  • Snow and ice can get packed in under thicker coats. When you bring your pet inside from playing, make sure to use a towel or a warm washcloth to help get any remaining ice and snow out of their hair. Make sure to check between their toes and the pads of their feet.

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