Even a quick trip outside to relieve itself is all it takes for a Dachsund's paws to freeze
It is a misconception to believe that cats and dogs can withstand cold temperatures because they have fur. Some large dog breeds are well equipped for the winter months and love to be outdoors while others like small breed dogs are more sensitive and have no tolerance for the colder temperature. Even a quick moment outside to do its business is all it takes for a little Dachshund's paws to freeze up and have him shivering.
Cats usually don't stay out doors for long when it's very cold. They might make a quick pounce and come right back into the house. Always make a note of the upcoming forecast before letting your cat out. It might be colder the next day and if kitty hasn't come home he or she will be more at risk to developing frostbite and hypothermia especially if no one is around to let them back in the next morning.
Animals have ways of dealing with cold temperatures but when
exposed to extreme freezing temperatures for an extended period
of time, these same mechanisms that work to keep them warm and
alive can actually cause damage and death to the tissues of their
extremities such as the tips of
ears, tail, and foot pads.
When a dog or cat is exposed to cold temperatures its body reacts in stages:
Symptoms to look for if your pet has been outdoors and you suspect it may be suffering from frostbite.
When the tissues are warmed it may cause some discomfort to your pet. The same also occurs when tissues are dead:
Hypothermia is an abnormal lowering of the body's temperature. This dangerous condition can occur faster than you think. This is a serious condition that can cause unconsciousness, shock and even the death of a pet. Pets that are outdoors in cold or subzero temperatures for too long can become hypothermic. To be safe, never let your cat or dog out and walk away. Stand and watch as they do their business, so that you don't get busy or distracted and forget they are outdoors. If you are standing in the cold doorway, you will usher them back in as soon as they are finished, simply because you will be cold yourself!
If your pet shows signs of frostbite he or she may also be experiencing hypothermia. However do not rely on frostbite alone as an indication of hypothermia, as it can occur without the presence of frostbite.
An animal that has been hypothermic and or has frostbite is in danger for his or her life. Veterinary care is a must.
Pet Assure is the largest veterinary network in the U.S. with over 5,600 veterinarians.