Treating Frostbite In Pets

By: Pam Wiese Email
By: Pam Wiese Email

It's best this time of year not to leave your pets out in the cold for long periods of time, but if they do head outside and come back inside looking like something’s wrong, it's important to know what to do.

Most pets have nice coats to protect them from the extreme cold, but ears and paws are susceptible to frostbite. Cat’s ear tips are delicate and have thin hair and can freeze quickly.

Frostbitten areas become pale blue to white and are cool to the touch due to loss of circulation. Once circulation returns, the skin will be red, then become swollen.

Immerse the area in warm (not hot) water for 15-30 minutes or apply a warm, moist towel. Don’t rub as that will make it worse. If the area turn darker that could mean tissue damage, so see a veterinarian immediately.

Cats like to curl up in a warm spot, so if your vehicle is parked outside, whack the hood before starting the engine to scare off any animals that might be hiding atop the engine.

The Nebraska Humane Society at 8929 Fort Street in Omaha is open weekends from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and weekdays from 9 a.m. To 7 p.m. You can always look up animals and find information at

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