Many of our animals behave as if nothing bothers them; they don’t seem overly affected by environmental conditions and rarely would they ever overtly complain about being cold. But in the wintertime, it’s important to keep your pet safe from the snow and ice; it’s very possible for your pet to develop frostbite on their paws when the temperatures drop. Frostbite is trauma to the skin when the skin has been exposed to intense and prolonged cold. When the temperatures fall into the single digits and below zero, exposure time is decreased and the danger of frostbite trauma increases significantly.
When the blood flow within your pet’s body restricts due to cold temperatures, all their body parts such as the paws, ears, nose, and tail are places where they can develop tissue damage. When a dog has developed frostbite, then the area of trauma (The animal will usually behave as if they have an injury; dogs are likely to tend to it by licking) will feel clod and could even appear, in advanced stages, blue or black in color; when there are no apparent color changes, symptoms could be a brittle or dry-like feel to the trauma area—this symptom is especially true on the ears or the tail.
Frostbite should be treated immediately by your veterinarian. The tissue damage can be extremely painful, and without treatment the damaged skin can quickly become infected. It may even be necessary for your dog to begin a course of antibiotics immediately if you vet determines the risk is high for infection.
Hopefully you and your pets stay safe this winter. And remember to keep your pet healthy with regular grooming. If you are ready to schedule your pet’s next session, call your professional dog groomer at Groomingdale’s today.