One may suppose that rising up in Illinois, Ohio, and Wisconsin would have inured me to the results 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 a substitute. I freely admit I’m not keen on winter. My aversion to winter shouldn’t be with out simply trigger. Here’s a partial listing of cold-weather risks:
Hypothermia and frostbite. These are very actual issues in frigid climes. Indicators of frostbite embody 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 if 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. Extreme circumstances of frostbite may end up in everlasting disfiguration or alteration of the affected tissues, or worse, amputation or surgical elimination of the necrotic (lifeless) tissues.
Indicators of hypothermia can embody sturdy 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 under 95° F; decreased coronary heart fee; dilated pupils (the black internal circle of the attention seems bigger); gums and internal eyelids are pale or blue; hassle strolling; problem respiratory; stupor, unconsciousness, or coma.
Antifreeze poisoning. Spilled antifreeze presents a critical hazard to your dog. Canine are interested in antifreeze due to its candy style, however only a lick or two could be lethal. There are antifreeze formulations that include a bitter substance supposed to discourage ingestion, however they’re nonetheless poisonous if consumed.
Antifreeze poisoning occurs in two phases. Within the first, which occurs three to 6 hours after ingestion, your dog seems drunk – staggering, vomiting, falling down, and peeing loads. Then your dog could seem regular, till the second stage begins, when the physique begins to interrupt down the ethylene glycol into different chemical compounds akin to aldehyde, glycolic acid, and oxalate. This stage is harmful as a result of it will possibly trigger extreme to deadly harm to the kidneys. If you happen to suspect your dog 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 dog. Canine get the salt on their paws and fur, and lick it off to wash themselves. Indicators of salt toxicity embody extremes in water consumption (your dog could both drink excessively or cease consuming altogether); vomiting; diarrhea; torpid or “drunk” habits; seizures.
Whereas “pet-safe” salt is safer than common rock salt, like “pet-safe” antifreeze, it’s nonetheless not utterly protected. Take precautions to keep away from ingestion, and call your veterinarian if you happen to suppose your dog may need salt toxicity.
Falling by way of ice. Each winter brings tragic tales of dogs falling by way of pond or river ice, and drowning or freezing to dying. Generally the tragedy is compounded by the dying of the human who tried to avoid wasting the beloved dog. In case your dog doesn’t have a rock-solid recall, preserve her safely on leash if you end up round frozen water. If she does fall by way of, name 9-1-1 quite than making an attempt to rescue her your self. If you happen to should rescue her, research up on ice-rescue security precautions nicely upfront, and be very cautious!
Heaters. A cold dog can change into a heat-seeking missile and should attempt to cozy as much as the warmers in your house. Warning: She will be able to burn herself on a wall heater or wood-burning range, or knock over an area heater and begin a hearth. In case your dog is liable to making an attempt to get as shut as doable to the supply of your private home’s warmth, use administration instruments to forestall her entry to any warmth supply that is perhaps harmful. Present her with a pet-safe heating pad; these merchandise have chew-resistant cords, and warmth up solely to a pet’s inside physique temperature. Alternatively, give her a comfy den with loads of heat blankets she will be able to burrow beneath.