Vet School reminds people to protect pets from cold
BATON ROUGE - The LSU School of Veterinary Medicine put out several tips Wednesday reminding people to protect their pets against extreme cold.
According to LSU pets should be brought inside if possible when the temperature drops into the extreme cold range. Outdoor pets also use more energy when they're cold to keep warm, so they'll need more food than normal. Animals that stay outside such as dogs or stray cats also need a sheltered place that's raised off the ground or floor.
Warm engines in parked cars can also attract cats and small wildlife, so the vet school said people should bang on the hoods of their vehicle to scare them away before starting the engine. Antifreeze can also accidentally poison animals who drink it because of its sweet taste, so any spills need to be cleaned up quickly and the chemicals should be stored out of reach.
Pets exposed to temperatures in the low teens or single digits for prolonged periods can get frostbite on their feet or the tips of their ears, which will cause the skin to turn darker in color and cause the animal to be lethargic or weak. If you feel that your pet has been adversely affected by the cold and requires medical care, contact your veterinarian.
The LSU Vet Teaching Hospital on Skip Bertman Drive is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for people who need after-hours medical care for their pet. People can call the Small Animal Clinic for pets and exotic animals at (225) 578-9600, and the number for the Large Animal Clinic for horses and farm animals is (225) 578-9500.