Winter Warnings for your Dog

One may assume that rising up in Illinois, Ohio, and Wisconsin would have inured me to the consequences of bitter chilly, hip-deep snow drifts, and blinding blizzards, however I feel it did the alternative and sensitized me to these frigid circumstances, as an alternative. I freely admit I’m not keen on winter. My aversion to winter shouldn’t be with out simply trigger. Here is a partial listing of cold-weather risks:

Hypothermia and frostbite. These are very actual considerations in frigid climes. Signs of frostbite embrace discoloration of the affected space of pores and skin (this discoloration is commonly pale, grey, or bluish); coldness and/or brittleness of the world when touched; ache while you contact the physique half(s); swelling of the affected space(s); blisters or pores and skin ulcers; areas of blackened or lifeless pores and skin. Severe instances of frostbite can lead to everlasting disfiguration or alteration of the affected tissues, or worse, amputation or surgical removing of the necrotic (lifeless) tissues. 

Signs of hypothermia can embrace robust shivering and trembling adopted by no shivering; appearing sleepy, torpid, or weak; fur and pores and skin are chilly to the contact; physique temperature is beneath 95° F; decreased coronary heart charge; dilated pupils (the black interior circle of the attention seems bigger); gums and interior eyelids are pale or blue; bother strolling; issue respiration; stupor, unconsciousness, or coma.

Antifreeze poisoning. Spilled antifreeze presents a severe hazard to your canine. Dogs are drawn to antifreeze due to its candy style, however only a lick or two will be lethal. There are antifreeze formulations that comprise a bitter substance supposed to discourage ingestion, however they’re nonetheless poisonous if consumed.

 Antifreeze poisoning occurs in two phases. In the primary, which occurs three to 6 hours after ingestion, your canine seems drunk – staggering, vomiting, falling down, and peeing lots. Then your canine could seem regular, till the second stage begins, when the physique begins to interrupt down the ethylene glycol into different chemical compounds equivalent to aldehyde, glycolic acid, and oxalate. This stage is harmful as a result of it might probably trigger extreme to deadly harm to the kidneys. If you think your canine has ingested antifreeze, get her to a veterinarian instantly. 

Ice-melting chemical compounds. The calcium and sodium chloride in rock salt that’s used to deal with roads and sidewalks is poisonous to your canine. Dogs get the salt on their paws and fur, and lick it off to wash themselves. Signs of salt toxicity embrace extremes in water consumption (your canine could both drink excessively or cease consuming altogether); vomiting; diarrhea; torpid or “drunk” conduct; seizures. 

While “pet-safe” salt is safer than common rock salt, like “pet-safe” antifreeze, it’s nonetheless not utterly secure. Take precautions to keep away from ingestion, and make contact with your veterinarian in case you assume your canine may need salt toxicity. 

Falling by way of ice. Every winter brings tragic tales of canine falling by way of pond or river ice, and drowning or freezing to loss of life. Sometimes the tragedy is compounded by the loss of life of the human who tried to avoid wasting the beloved canine. If your canine doesn’t have a rock-solid recall, hold her safely on leash when you find yourself round frozen water. If she does fall by way of, name 9-1-1 fairly than attempting to rescue her your self. If you need to rescue her, examine up on ice-rescue security precautions properly upfront, and be very cautious! 

Heaters. A cold canine can develop into a heat-seeking missile and will attempt to cozy as much as the warmers in your house. Caution: She can burn herself on a wall heater or wood-burning range, or knock over an area heater and begin a hearth. If your canine is susceptible to attempting to get as shut as doable to the supply of your house’s warmth, use administration instruments to stop her entry to any warmth supply that may be harmful. Provide her with a pet-safe heating pad; these merchandise have chew-resistant cords, and warmth up solely to a pet’s inner physique temperature. Alternatively, give her a comfortable den with loads of heat blankets she will be able to burrow beneath.

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