Wheeling veterinarian urges pet owners to bring animals inside, out of the bitter cold


Dr. Pam Harrold of Long Run Animal Hospital says it was zero degrees outside when she got up this morning.

At that temperature, it takes only a few minutes for an animal’s body to begin to freeze.

That’s because the body is more than 70% water.

Dr. Harrold says frostbite begins on the animal’s nose, ears and toes, because they are farthest away from the blood supply.

She says dogs’ foot pads can freeze within a minute or two of going outside.

If you see your pet holding up one foot and then another, it’s time to bring them in.

She says any animal–even livestock–needs shelter from the frigid wind, and frequent changes of fresh water. 

She also says even dogs that are considered “outside dogs” need to be brought inside, if only into a garage or basement.

She recalls a cat that was found, frozen to a bridge a few years ago in weather like this.

Fortunately the cat was rescued and treated by another veterinarian in the area, and its life was saved.

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