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Just like us, cold weather is hard on our pets! A few tips to help you during this icy season!



• Booties are an easy way to keep their toes warm and prevent sand and salt from causing irritation.

- Not every breed is intended to withstand cold weather, therefore booties are an effective way to protect your canine’s paws because they offer warmth, full coverage, and are durable.


***To find your dog’s right size measure from the heel to the tip of the toenail.


• During the extreme cold, it’s best to keep walks short for your canine.

- Being out in the cold too long is dangerous and can lead to frostbite.


***Keep in mind, if it’s too cold for you, chances are it’s too cold for your dog too. If you do take your dog for a walk, you may want to consider putting them in a coat or jacket.


• Prep the paws. Clip long between the toes and foot pads

- This will prevent ice balls from building.

• After taking your dog out for a walk, make sure to wipe down their paws & stomach (for those shorter furry friends of ours) with a damp cloth or baby wipes.


• Minimize paw licking until their paws are completely clean.

- This will minimize risk for skin irritation and any damage caused by salt, ice, or other residue they may have stepped on during their stroll.


***If you have concerns with salt, consider dipping each paw in a bucket of lukewarm water and then towel drying.


• Don’t let dogs eat any of the salt or any of the snow (especially the slushy snow) outside that may have been treated with an ice melt.

- Ingesting ice melt can cause vomiting, tremors, seizures and ulceration of the mouth.


• After returning from walking on the snow or ice, rub some paw balm, like Biobalm, on your dog’s paw pads.

- This will minimize the dry skin and damage salt can cause.


*** Make sure to reapply the balm often. Having paw balm on hand is a good way to keep their paws soft and supple during the cold months.

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Erindale Animal Hospital in the News

Follow the link to watch the CTV News Report

https://saskatoon.ctvnews.ca/she-was-coughing-and-choking-and-hacking-warning-for-dog-owners-about-harmful-weed-1.6530384?fbclid=IwAR0HTZ8fxBQTMhNIYkxWAzKts6OXyPiJX5YYolIeT65cl2rE9c4V358c0gc_aem_AYItVnX1yJy1t1xCLdZKaVcJskiU5tNEXPxvjT2ghFt2dDVIKlpyUwOGwH4wRBClNY8
 

Carla Shynkaruk

Multi-Skilled Journalist CTV News Saskatoon

Updated Aug. 23, 2023 10:59 a.m. PDT

Published Aug. 22, 2023 5:43 p.m. PDT

There’s a natural hazard lurking in the weeds in Saskatoon this time of year that dog owners should be aware of because it could mean costly vet bills or even losing your pet.

Foxtails have been seen more over the past five years and pet owners should be on the lookout.

Sophie is a Shih Tzu Pomeranian, and in her 10 years, her owner Hannah Carswell has never had to deal with a foxtail encounter- until this month.

“Sophie was on the deck of my condo, and she started skittering around and I didn’t know what was wrong with her. She was coughing, and choking and hacking,” Carswell told CTV News.

It was nighttime and her vet wasn’t open, so she waited until the morning. That’s when the vet confirmed it was foxtail, a potentially deadly weed according to Veterinarian Miranda Wallace at the Erindale Animal Hospital.

“It is a bigger deal than people would suspect,” Wallace says.

The grassy weed is topped with a sharp needle which can get stuck in a pet’s coat, paws, or worse if ingested.

“Sometimes it can migrate to places, that can cause issues. Granulomas or abscesses in lungs and chest and migrate into sinuses,” according to Wallace. 

Nicole German experienced foxtails with her previous dog and faced $5000 in vet bills.

“She ate them, so we went through two really serious bouts removing hundreds of foxtails under anaesthesia. Removing them from her throat, mouth, esophagus, we almost lost her,” German told CTV News.

Her new dog is only nine months old and hasn’t had a run-in with foxtails, mostly because the family is diligent and watches for them, according to German. She’s also taken to Facebook to warn other dog owners, so they don’t have to endure what she did.

At the Erindale clinic they’re prepared for numerous cases in the summer with foxtail case numbers on the rise over the past five years.

“We’ve had a few cases come in already. We actually have a case coming in today for foxtails.”

Wallace wants pet owners to watch their dogs and closely monitor what they are eating.

“If you notice that your dog is sniffing around in the grass and then starts pawing at their face, sneezing or coughing that could be an indication that they have a foxtail,” she said.

Tent signs have been put up in various locations around the city, in parks and green spaces.

The signs provide little consolation for Carswell and Sophie.

“It was a really scary. I’m paranoid. I will not take her to the dog parks. The small dog park has them.”

The City of Saskatoon said in an email it is currently managing problem foxtail areas.

“(In) 2021, the City began its educational efforts on foxtail, including information on prevention and control techniques for foxtail barley (foxtail) for developers and landowners.”

For more information and to download a copy of the guide, visit saskatoon.ca/weedcontrol

For more information about the amazing product OutFox Field Guard, please check out their website  https://outfoxfordogs.com/en-ca

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