If you live in a part of the country that regularly experiences dangerously cold temperatures, you need to be aware of the dangers and signs of Hypothermia in animals. For guidelines on hypothermia and signs you can look for, check out our article Hypothermia – How cold is too cold for dogs?
If you do have an animal in your care that you believe is experiencing hypothermia, you need to act quickly to prevent serious complications. Here are the steps you should take immediately.
If the dog’s temperature has dropped below 98°F (36.7°C), this dog is in serious danger and needs immediate medical attention from a veterinarian. Take them to a veterinarian or Emergency Hospital immediately.
If the dogs temperature is still above 98°F, you need to raise their body temperature by applying heat in the following ways:
- If the dog is able to drink, provide them warm fluids. Ingesting warm fluids will raise their body temperature.
- Warm some blankets in the dryer as quickly as possible, then wrap your dog in them.
Use hot water bottles. Wrap the hot water bottle in a towel, then place it against the dog’s stomach. Never place a hot water bottle directly on a dogs skin.
Keep the dog still, do not allow them to move around. Movement will contribute to loss of body heat.
During the re-warming period, don’t be alarmed if there’s a slight drop in temperature at first. This is due to cold blood near the surface of the skin mingling with warmer blood deep inside your dog’s body, and should stabilize quickly.
Monitor the dogs temperature every five minutes. When their temperature raises above 100°F (37.8°C) you need to remove any hot water bottles. You can continue to keep your dog wrapped in blanket in a warm room.
Once the dog has regained their normal body temperature and recovered, schedule an appointment with a veterinarian to check for any long-term damage.
Currently, I own and oversee Shady Acres Pet Ranch and Fur Kids Grooming in Round Rock Texas. In the past I have owned and managed Compassion Pet Sitting, one of the largest Pet Sitting Services in the Austin, TX metro Area.
I have also worked as an Executive in Fortune 50 and Startup Businesses for the last 18 years, providing me a strong foundation of Leadership, Business, Finance, Technology, and Marketing.
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