Keeping your pet safe from cold weather hazards

The arrival of cooler temperatures creates many changes.


Veterinarians are advising pet owners that cold air and snow can be harmful to your furry family members.  

Pets are our friends, family members, and loving companions.  

But as the temperature changes, cold weather creates hazards for our four legged friends

"Extreme temperatures either way can certainly cause problems-health problems and can be a risk to their health," said Ron Thunshelle a veterinarian at Pinkerton Animal Hospital.

If a pet is exposed to the cold for to long, the cold air can cause skin irritations and in worst scenarios frost bite.

"A lot of times tales, ears, feet, can become frost bitten in really extreme cold weather," said Thunshelle.
 
This was the case for Lefsa, a stray cat who was brought in the Pinkerton Animal hospital after a bad storm this past year.

"Her tail was frost bitten, both of her ears were frost bit and then both of her legs were as well," said Ashley Zietz.

Lefsa's recovery was no walk in park.

"The Achilles tendons were frozen and they snapped so those were no longer attached so she had no tendon to keep her joint stable," said cat owner Ashley Zietz.

Causing Lefsa to loose her right leg.

"After all the rehab and everything and she was back to normal I couldn't let her go so we decided to keep her," said Zietz.
 
When the temperature drops below zero taking some extra precautions to protect your pets paws, ears, and tails isn't such a bad idea.

Something else to consider is chemical ice melts.

"salts, those kinds of things can create skin sores irritations if they ingest enough of them they can cause stomach upset and ingestion of extreme amounts can even lead to electrolyte disturbances, said Thunshelle.

Although certain breeds are more tolerant to cold, veterinarians say pet owners should still take the extra precautions.


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