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Despite their thick fur, extreme low temperatures can cause a dog's body temperature to fall, leading to hypothermia. If sustained, low body temperature may lead to several complications and even become fatal. To prevent this, immediate care is paramount.
The first sign of hypothermia is paleness and strong shivering. This may be followed by listlessness to the point of lethargy and frostbite of certain body parts such as the tail, tips of the ears, scrotum, and foot pads. If left untreated, coma and heart failure may occur.
Hypothermia can occur in any of the following situations:
Hypothermia can be prevented by avoiding prolonged exposure to cold temperatures. This is especially important for dogs that are considered to be at-risk. Factors that increase an animal's risk for hypothermia include very young or old age, low body fat, hypothyroidism, and anesthesia. Dog clothes, boots, and other accessories can help breeds with thinner fur and those less used to cold weather.
The sac that holds the testes; may also be referred to as the scrotal sac
The condition of being drowsy, listless, or weak
A body temperature that is too low