COLUMBIA, SC — With the chill of the recent winter, we bundle up to stay warm, but what about our four-legged friends?
Like humans, dogs and cats can get frostbite when their skin is exposed to cold temperatures for long periods of time.
Tracy Schlicksup is the director of emergency services and one of the owners. CVETS In Colombia, she says, wind chills can increase the risk of frostbite, even if temperatures aren’t extreme. “Dogs and cats can get frostbite just because they have parts of their body that don’t get the same circulation. So, specifically, the tips of their ears, the tips of their noses. , the pads of their paws.”
In extreme cold, limit outdoor time, provide shelter, and even consider pet clothing such as jackets and booties. “You actually watch the clock and only let them out for five or 10 minutes at a time,” suggests Schlicksup.
Be on the lookout for pale or discolored skin. The area may feel cold or hard to the touch. That’s when you may also see your pet licking or chewing the affected areas, warns Schlicksup. “If you identify an area of concern, you’re actually going to use a warm water bath because that improves circulation. You don’t want to use dry heat like a hair dryer.”
Moist heat is preferable to dry heat, as it thaws frozen tissue more thoroughly.