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Cold can be harmful to animals

Von: abc (abc@123.cl) [Profil]
Datum: 14.12.2009 16:17
Message-ID: <20091214-151743.115.0@abc.shawnews.vc.shawcable.net>
Newsgroup: alt.animals.dog alt.animals.cat alt.animals alt.animal
Cold can be harmful to animals


14Dec09


If pets are allowed outdoors, owners should consider the temperature as
a major factor in keeping their animals healthy and safe.

If pets are allowed outdoors, owners should consider the temperature as
a major factor in keeping their animals healthy and safe.
Photograph by: Photos.com, canada.com

As the temperature slips below -30 C, people should be on the lookout
for animals in distress, says the Regina Humane Society.

Issuing its first "cold-weather alert" of the season, the Regina Humane
Society says that even the hardest animals need to be constantly
monitored in such severe temperatures.

"People expect that since an animal is wearing its natural fur coat
that they are able to keep warm and that's totally untrue," says Gail
MacMillan, the society's community liason. "If we feel the cold and
we're wearing a parka and mitts and a touque, then you can rest assured
that your animal is feeling the cold too."

If pets are allowed outdoors, owners should consider the temperature as
a major factor in keeping their animals healthy and safe.

Dr. Karen Harasen, a veterinarian at the Animal Clinic of Regina, says
that when animals are left out in the cold, they first experience
problems with their extremities -- their ears and their feet.

Cats, especially, are prone to having their ears freeze in a matter of
minutes.

"With time, they will lose the ends of their ears ... you see these
barn cats out there and they've lost their external ears," says
Harasen.

Another issue is cats crawling up into parked vehicle engines because
they are looking for warmth, Harasen says. When people go to start
their vehicles, the cats can be hit by the fan belt and be hurt.

If people live around farm cats or in an area with stray cats, Harasen
suggests pounding on the vehicle or lifting the hood to ensure the cat
gets out of the engine before they start the car.

MacMillan says that at this time of year cats should really not be
outdoors at all.

Dogs are particularly affected by frostbite on their feet. "Anyone
who's taken their dog out knows that they'll start dancing pretty
quickly with their feet," says Harasen.

She says that dogs under 40 pounds -- no matter how thick their coat is
-- should not be outdoors for long.

Dogs that are left outside should have a double hair coat like a
Malamute or Husky.

Outdoor dogs need proper shelter to shield them against the wind and
some dry bedding -- as simple as straw -- to insulate them from the
cold that comes from the ground, as well as a heat source, like a light
bulb.

Harasen has seen situations where animals have been frozen to pavement
or ice.

"I can only assume it happens when it's damp out and they're cuddled up
somewhere and they've got a bit of melting below them and the
temperature drops and they're frozen to a board or something," she
says.

MacMillan says that although it's common sense "that you don't go to
work in the morning and leave your dog out," the Regina Humane Society
has seized several animals this week that were left outdoors without
proper shelter.


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