Pets just as susceptible as humans to winter elements, vets say - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Pets just as susceptible as humans to winter elements, vets say

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QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -

Every winter, local veterinarians see dozens of pets come in with weather related injuries. And it's not just from the snow and ice or being left out in the cold.

Doctor Bob Reich, a local veterinarian, says there are three main winter threats for dogs.

Reich says a dog's skin is just as sensitive as a human's, so even though they have fur, dogs can get frost bite. He says he also sees injuries from dogs falling since their footing on ice isn't much better than ours.

The third major issue vets see in the winter, Reich said, is dogs that have swallowed anti-freeze, which is extremely toxic.

"Anti-freeze tastes sweet, anti-freeze to dogs is just like candy to a kid. Even the little puddle in your garage, when your car over flows after you shut it off there's enough there to kill most dogs. And it goes through and it ruins their kidneys," said Reich.

Also, the salt used to melt the snow can irritate a dog's paws. Reich says even if it's pet friendly salt it's still salt, so be sure to clean off their paws after walks.

One thing vets say some people don't think about is how dogs can have "Grinch Feet."

"A lot of pets have hair and fur between their toes. And they go outside and they get ice crystals and ice balls in there and then all the sudden they come in. If you imagine walking with your shoes with ice cubes in them," said Reich.

Another reminder from Reich is not to let your dog drink out of puddles. It could have salt in it and that's hard on their stomachs.

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