Winter is in full force, and in most places the temperatures have plummeted. With this cold weather comes additional threats to your pet. Hypothermia being among the most severe. Hypothermia is where the body temperature drops to well below normal levels, which for most cats and dogs is between 100.5-102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. This can cause many complications ranging from heart problems to death. It’s important to recognize symptoms of hypothermia so treatment for it can start immediately.

The typical symptoms of hypothermia are:

• Acting sleepy or lethargic

• Heavy shivering followed by periods of no shivering

• Skin and fur are cold to the touch

• Body temperature is below 95 degrees (Fahrenheit)

• Decreased heart rate

• Dilated pupils

• Pale gums

• Labored breathing

• Struggling while walking

• Coma

If you suspect any of your pets have hypothermia, remove them from the cold and put them into a warm room. Dry them off if they are wet. Wrap them in a blanket that’s warmed in a dryer. Wrap warm water bottles in towels and place them on the pets’ stomach. Check your pets’ temperature with a rectal thermometer every 10 – 15 minutes. If pets do not respond to warming up the body within 30-45 minutes, go to an emergency vet clinic immediately.

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