We don’t get snow and ice often here in the Triangle, but when we do, we see an increase in the number of pet injuries that result from slipping and falling on frozen sidewalks.
When that beautiful powdery snow gets frozen over it becomes very slippery for all of us, but the smooth pads and trimmed nails of a dog’s feet can make it particularly difficult to get a grip.
Now usually, when pets slip on ice, the result is a bump or bruise that can be treated at home with rest, ice, or heat. (Not sure whether to use a covered ice pack or covered heating pad? Remember, ice is for injuries that cause inflammation, heat is for muscles for soothing pain.) Sometimes, however, when our pets slip and fall on ice, the results can be a little more serious.
Some injuries that we have seen as the result of dogs falling on icy patches include:
- Pulled muscles
- Torn ligaments
- Cuts that require stitches
- Broken bones
The chances are that if your dog has slipped on the ice, that their injury is going to be limited to a bump or bruise, but you should keep your eyes open for some of the following signs of more serious injury.
- Limping for longer than two days
- Reluctance to bear weight on a joint
- A deep cut or laceration
- Ongoing swelling
- Vocalizations indicating pain
- Lessened appetite
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Any signs of neurological damage
If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s important to stabilize your dog as best as you can and contact your local emergency veterinary clinic immediately for assistance. Try to remain calm as your dog will identify any feelings of anxiety in your voice and this will cause them added discomfort.
If your dog has slipped and fallen on the ice and you have any concern about a possible injury, it’s always better to put a call into your local emergency veterinary clinic. We always believe that it’s better to be safe rather than sorry!