Keeping your precious pet safe from freezing temperatures may become more difficult if you live in a place where you get extremely cold winter months. If your pet has a wandering soul and enjoys being outdoors, you must be even more careful when letting them out in the cold.
No matter how much your dog or cat enjoys catching snowflakes and digging the snow, the last thing you need is for them to get frostbite on their paws.
But what are frostbites, how can you spot them, and what’s the right way to treat this painful injury? Keep reading to learn all about it.
What is Frostbite?
Frostbite is defined as damage to the skin and surrounding tissue caused by extreme cold. At sub-zero temperatures, the blood vessels near the skin’s surface become constricted to keep the heat from escaping the body and diverting the blood to the body’s core.
When the pet’s body is exposed to a cold temperature for a long time, these constricted blood vessels reduce the blood flow to their extremities (such as paws, tail, and ears). As a result, these body parts become susceptible to freezing in the cold. Once frozen, a severe tissue injury, called frostbite, appears on these body parts.
Signs of Frostbite in Pets
Sometimes it becomes difficult to spot frostbite on your pet’s paw. If you don’t catch this injury in time, your pet will likely face discomfort until you perform proper treatment. If you suspect that your pet has frostbite on its paws, here are some signs you should be on the lookout for:
- Discoloration (typically in shades of blue or gray)
- Cold or brittle skin
- Pain and discomfort upon touching the affected area
- Swelling and blisters in the affected area
- Dead, blackened skin
What to Do If Your Pet Gets a Frostbite
Frostbite on your pet’s paw can be quite painful for them. This is why you should always know how to provide quick relief and speed up their healing process. If you suspect that your pet has frostbite on their paw, here are some things you can do to deal with it:
- Shift your dog to a warm and dry place.
- Avoid additional exposure to cold as it may worsen the frostbite.
- Place their affected paw in warm water. Make sure the water is not hot and shouldn’t exceed 104-108°F.
- Apply warm water compress to the affected area. Do not apply dry heat such as a hair dryer or a heating pad).
- Gently apply Gou Gou Pets’ 3-in-1 Paw Ointmentto reduce the swelling and soothe the blisters. The ointment will also treat the discoloration and discomfort caused by the frostbite.
You can also use the 3-in-1 Paw Ointment to prevent frostbite on your cat or dog’s paw. All you have to do is simply apply the ointment on their paws before taking them out in the extreme cold.
Gou Gou Pets is a holistic online pet store with a wide range of pet care products for dogs, cats, and horses. You can get pet grooming, skincare, trauma care, pain management products and more from our online shop.
Get in touch with us today to learn more about our products.