By Dr. Sherry Weaver

The most obvious signs of frostbite in your dog are discolored skin, tissue that is hard to the touch or even icy, and pain when touched.  Swelling, blistering and blue or black discolorations are signs of extreme frostbite. Although frostbite is not common in pets it can affect the ear tips, toes, nails, and scrotum.

Rule #1: Do not attempt to rapidly warm the affected tissue as this will cause pain and tissue damage.  Instead, remove the animal from the cold source. Run cool water over the affected areas. Keep the warming process gradual. Do not warm up the frostbitten area quickly. Heating pads may be used if kept on low and the pet is checked frequently.

Consult your veterinarian if you think your dog has suffered frostbite. Bluish or black discoloration of the skin or limbs is very serious and requires immediate attention from your vet.

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