Cat survives frostbite, hypothermia - Tucson Local Media: Health

Cat survives frostbite, hypothermia

HSSA offers tips for cold-weather pet care

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Posted: Wednesday, January 12, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 8:22 am, Thu Mar 24, 2011.

Tucsonans aren’t the only ones dealing with the frigid cold weather. Pets also are feeling the freeze.

Just last week, the Humane Society of Southern Arizona cared for a cat suffering from severe hypothermia and frostbite. When she arrived at the shelter, Storm, a 3-year-old cat, had significantly low body temperature and scratches to her body and face caused by an odd turn of events, according to HSSAZ Public Relations Coordinator Sara Gromley. The tabby had spent the night caught in a squirrel trap that had fallen into a cooler located on the rooftop of an apartment complex.

Tenants heard her cries but waited until the morning to notify the complex manager, who rushed the cat to the Humane Society. Storm was treated for her injuries and monitored, and is now looking to find a warm new home.

Storm’s unfortunate mishap is a reminder for pet owners to take proper precautions as Tucson temperatures continue to dip near and below freezing. During the winter season, many pets feel the cold as much as humans do. This is especially true for desert dwellers, where dogs and cats are not accustomed to the cold.

To protect your pet’s health, the Humane Society shared these cold-weather care tips:

• Keep pets warm, dry and comfortable.

• Prolonged exposure to frigid temperatures can be dangerous and even kill pets. Pets left outside can succumb to hypothermia and frostbite, causing permanent tissue damage. Bring pets in from the cold or provide them with access to a warm place.

• Keep toxic substances such as antifreeze and ice-melt away from pets.

• Before starting your car, tap on your hood to make sure a cat or other animal has not crawled underneath in search of shelter and warmth.

Winter is such a wonderful time of year in southern Arizona. Ensure that it’s just as enjoyable for the animals in our lives, too, Gromley advised.

For more information about cold-weather care or pet adoption, call the HSSA at 327-6088 or visit www.hssaz.org.

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