Here’s What to Do If You Find an Animal Experiencing Hypothermia
With the nasty cold that was ushered into the area thanks to Winter Storm Elliott, it is possible that you may encounter an animal that has been exposed to brutal temperatures but what should you do?
Bring Animal Indoors
It's our hope that if you have animals in your care that live outside that you have already brought them inside or at the very least taken the necessary precautions to provide dry, warm shelter from the elements.
Hypothermia occurs when an animal's core body temperature drops below 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Warm, dry bedding like straw and an insulated dog house will work well under most mild winter conditions. However, the temperatures that we are seeing with storm Elliott are anything but mild. Please know that blankets are not adequate for outdoor bedding. They can absorb moisture from the air and then freeze, ultimately causing hypothermia, and even leading to the death of your pet. Again, bringing your pets inside - whether into your home or into a heated garage is going to be your safest option.
What To Do for Hypothermia
Even if you have done everything to protect your own animals against the harsh winter weather, it is still possible that you may encounter an animal experiencing hypothermia. If you do, there are some things that you should and should never do. According to an infographic shared by our friends at It Takes a Village No-Kill Animal Rescue, you do not want to feed a hypothermic animal or submerge it in water. In fact, feeding an animal that is hypothermic can cause the animal to die. Here are some things you should do:
- Bring the animal inside, and out of the cold
- If the animal is wet, dry its fur
- Stroke the animal's body. This helps to circulate blood flow.
- Get the animal to a veterinarian as soon as possible.
In extreme cases, if you find an animal that has become frozen to the ground, you are advised to not attempt to pull on the animal to free it from the ground. Instead use lukewarm water - not hot but lukewarm - to pour near and underneath of the animal. Do not pour the water onto the animal if you can prevent it. This will help loosen the animal from the ground. Once you have the animal free, follow the steps above and get the animal to a vet immediately. See the video below for more tips.
[Source: It Takes a Village via Facebook]
Animal Shelters and Rescues In and Around Evansville Indiana