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Frostbite in dogs

Frostbite in Dogs

Frostbite is not a condition that is only limited to humans.

In fact, dogs are also highly susceptible to frostbites. In both humans as well as dogs, frostbite is usually treatable, but if there is tissue damage due to frostbite, it can lead to amputations as well.
Frostbite in dogs usually occurs when a body part is exposed to cold for too long. If there is excessive tissue damage, amputation is the only treatment available. There are some dogs that are more susceptible to frostbites than others.

Though frostbite can occur in any part of the body that is exposed, frostbite in a dog’s paw is usually more prevalent. Small dogs with short hairs are usually more susceptible to frostbites. The more the dog’s body is exposed to the cold, the more are the chances of getting frostbites. Dogs that have wet hair are also more susceptible to developing frostbites.

Wet hair or fur that freezes due to the low temperatures is one of the primary dog frostbite causes.

Frostbite in dogs is one of the primary causes of amputations of dog paws and tails. Very severe cases of frostbite in dogs can actually be fatal. If you keep your dog outside, try and build a shelter so that the dog remains warm. The shelter should ideally have all four sides covered. If it gets especially cold outside, make as small a door as possible, or try and have a door that you can cover. Frostbite in dogs is not a very common cause of mortality. However, if the frostbite is severe and is left untreated, it can cause death. Frostbite in dogs symptoms include blackening of the skin tissue. The tissue may become dark in color, and may get very hard. In addition to that, if the frostbite is severe, the tissue may also become foul smelling. If the frostbite is in the dog’s paws, the dog may not be able to walk properly. When the tissue is frozen, it appears pale in color. As it begins to thaw, the appearance changes, and it becomes red. Eventually the tissue begins to turn black. Immediate frostbite in dogs treatment includes running warm water over the area that has been affected. Do not disturb the tissue by rubbing it. After running warm water on the skin of the dog, rush your pet to a vet. Frostbite should be given emergency treatment because any delays can lead to amputations.

  Submitted on February 15, 2011  

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