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The Polar Vortex's Effects on Animals

Hi All,

Oscar here.

In case you haven't noticed (or you're living under a rock far away from the rest of humanity, it's been cold out. Like really cold out. Like even dogs don't want to go out to do their business and when they do go out, they do it as quickly as possible to minimize the feeling of cold that seeps into their tiny bodies, cold. 

As pet owners, I'm sure you know all about the dangers of summer—overheating, BBQs and stray bones, etc. And if you need a little refresher, just check out this blog. You probably also have a pretty decent understanding of what type of impact temperatures this low have on cats, dogs and other animals. But, as the PPAC is primarily a clinic for domestic animals, we don't usually talk about other critters here (unless someone takes an amazing vacation and they meet cute critters in other countries that they want to talk about!)

Ever the curious individual, Dr. S. decided to do some research into just that—outside of domestic animals, how are our other furry friends affected? He found some unusual answers to this question that extend well beyond the standard muscle stiffness, respiratory difficult and cardiac difficulty:

  1. Evidence of a red fox who'd had a limb amputated suffering from serious pain during the temperature drop
  2. Flying squirrels losing their appetite (this one is really mind boggling—when it's cold, all I want to do is pig out!)
  3. Cold weather induced hives in a variety of animals—we see this a lot in the summer but weird to see it in the winter!
  4. Songbirds having trouble with....the birds and the bees.

I'm sure there are plenty of other examples just like this but wanted to share a few that stuck out to Dr. S. and myself. It's crazy to think about how much weather affects our health and well-being. The good news is, weather forecast says it's going to get a bit warmer this week. So fingers, paws, and tails crossed that it does just that.

Til' next time. 

Oscar

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