Now that it's winter, you need to pay close attention to your dogs, especially if they spend time outside. You might not realize this, but your dogs can suffer from frostbite too. Unfortunately, your dogs can't tell you when they're paws are too cold. If your dog has come inside with ice on it's paws, and it's showing signs of distress, chances are good that it's suffering from frostbite. You'll need to act fast to prevent serious harm to your dog. Here are three steps you should take right away if you suspect that your dog is suffering from frostbite.
Wrap It Up Snugly
If you think your dog is suffering from frostbitten paws, you need to assume that the rest of its body is suffering from the cold, as well. The first thing you need to do is wrap your dog up snugly in a warm blanket. Keep your dog next to you, so that you can monitor its body temperature. Be sure you get your dogs paws wrapped up in the blanket too. While you're warming your dog up, you want to avoid rubbing its paws. The vigorous rubbing could cause severe tissue damage. Instead, wrap its paws in the blanket, and allow them to warm up slowly.
Avoid Using Direct Heat to Warm it Up
If your dog has been outside, and is suffering from the cold, you may be tempted to give it a hot bath. That's one of the worst things you can do. Submerging your dog in hot water, when it's suffering from frostbite could cause further tissue damage, and send your dog into shock. Once your dog is warmed up, and has recovered, you can give it a warm bath. However, until it's fully recovered, you want to avoid the water. It may also be tempting to use a blow dryer or heating pad to speed up the warming process. Unfortunately, utilizing those devices can injure your dog, as well. While your dog is suffering from frostbite, it's best to just leave it wrapped in a blanket, while resting near you. Your added body warmth will do your dog a lot of good.
Get Your Dog to the Veterinarian
If your dog is having a difficult time warming up, or you notice that its paws are swollen, it's a good idea to get to the veterinarian as quickly as possible. Your dog may require emergency medical care in order to recover from the frostbite. For more information about taking care of your dog, contact a business such as Healthy Paws Veterinary Hospital & Housecalls.