Local pets suffering from frostbite and hypothermia from bitter cold

Local pets suffering from frostbite and hypothermia from bitter cold

The winter blast is dropping temperatures across central Illinois to a dangerous low.

This is a critical time to remind everyone the pets should be inside.

If they must be outside, or if you see any pets left outside, animal experts say you should take some action.

Killer cold temperatures happening this time of year is potentially deadly for both humans and pets.

"This weather is really nasty,” said one veterinarian, Canaan Shores, from the Capitol Illini Vet Services. “For particularly these small pets or pets that are left outside with no shelter."

Shores said they're seeing more cases related to the cold. He said bare paws on a freezing grounds, and pets laying in the snow can lead to frostbite. He sees up to 4 cases during the winter season.

"Chronic skin wounds associated with that,” he said.

He also could see a worse condition: hypothermia.

"Some of those pets don't make it,” Shores said. “So it can be a very serious condition, it can be difficult to bring them back."

The 'Animal Protective League' said if you see your pet turning blue or shivering, warm them up with blankets and warm water.

"We've seen frostbite on ears and on paws,” said Deana Corbin, Executive Director to APL. “We've seen cracked paws on dogs, we've seen them where they'll get hypothermia where they'll get so cold that their body just starts to shut down, which is a very scary thing."

The symptoms are more prone to smaller or hairless dogs.

"It's always sad,” said Corbin. “And a little heartbreaking because we know how hard it is for those animals outside."

Some residents say, if you have an outside pet, leave them a warming bowl and adequate shelter.

"I think it's just raising people's awareness,” said one resident, Marvin Bornschlegl. “And pet owners assuming the responsibility to go into the warmth when they need it."

If you ever see a pet left outside, call animal control or the police.

"A good rule of thumb,” said Veterinarian Shores. “If it's too cold for you to be out, for a long period of time, it's probably too cold for your pet."

A few more tips to remember from APL… Anti-freeze is toxic to dogs and cats, so clean up any spills right away.

You should bang on your car hood before you start driving because cats tend to spend time in the car engine to warm up.

And never leave animals you find outside an animal agency.

If no one is there, the pets may freeze overnight.

APL said their hours are 12 noon to 5 p.m. every day.

They're closed on New Years.

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