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208 Breeds, 422 Health Conditions  |  Find a Vet

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Ear Frostbite

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Condition Overview

Frostbite affects the ear tips of dogs left outdoors in severe winter weather, particularly under conditions of high wind and humidity.

Symptoms

Initially, the skin of frostbitten ears appears pale or even blue.

Causes

The ears are especially vulnerable to frostbite because they are so exposed.

Diagnosis

All the frostbitten tissue may survive, or a sharp line of demarcation may develop between normal skin and black, dead skin. This demarcation line may not be obvious right away - it can take several days to know what tissue will survive. If this happens, seek veterinary help.

Treatment

See Frostbite for the emergency treatment procedure.

Prevention

Keep your dog indoors on days cold enough to induce a frostbite situation.

Support

Please contact your veterinarian if you think your pet may have frostbite.

Show Sources & Contributors +

Sources

Dog Owners Home Veterinary Handbook

Publisher: Wiley Publishing, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Authors: Debra M. Eldredge, Liisa D. Carlson, Delbert G. Carlson, James M. Giffen MD

The First Aid Companion for Dogs And Cats

Publisher: Rodale Inc, 2001

Website: http://www.rodalebooks.com/

Authors: Amy D. Shojai, Shane Bateman DVM

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