Saturday, December 13, 2008

Winter Effects on Pets - Recognizing the Signs of Frostbite

The preliminary signs of frostbite in dogs are sometimes easily missed because the areas that are usually affected are covered with hair. The areas of the body most frequently involved are the tips of ears, the tail, scrotum area, and any other exposed extremities (paws, legs, etc.). Learn to recognize the signs of frostbite in your pets.

When frozen or near-frozen, the skin will appear very pale. As the skin warms, it becomes somewhat reddened and the area becomes painful to the dog when touched. Eventually, the skin will become scaly. If blood circulation has been severely affected, the tips or edges of the skin may actually die and slough off. First aid in early stages of frostbite involves warming the area gently with warm water. Do not massage the area, as this may cause release of dead tissue toxins into the blood stream or further damage already impaired skin tissue.

Apply a protective Vaseline type ointment or lotion and cover the affected area, if at all possible. Severe cases of frostbite may necessitate amputation of the affected tissue. Seek help for your dog from a qualified veterinarian as soon as possible.

Your pets depend on you as much as you depend on them. Keep them safe this winter.Staying above the water line!


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