Signs That Your Dog Has Suffered Frostbite

24 March 2023
 Categories: , Blog

Frostbite is a serious skin condition that can not only affect humans but also be an issue for dogs. While your dog will hopefully never suffer from this issue, it can happen if the animal spends too much time outdoors in cold conditions. For example, if your dog was out in the yard for a prolonged period because your kids forgot to bring it in, frostbite could occur. Frostbite in a dog often requires the attention of a veterinarian. If you believe that your dog has frostbite, contact your veterinary clinic to seek advice and get an appointment. There are a handful of warning signs that can indicate the presence of frostbite. 

Skin Discoloration

Although it can be difficult to see the skin on certain dogs, it's important to check the condition of the skin if you're worried that your pet may have frostbite. Specifically, you'll want to look at its extremities, such as the animal's paws and the tips of its ears. Frostbite has occurred if the dog's skin appears to be discolored. The exact color can vary on several factors, but frostbitten skin often has a gray or slightly bluish appearance to it.

Apparent Discomfort

Another way that you'll be able to tell that your dog has frostbite is that it reacts to your touch in a manner that suggests discomfort. For example, when you gently take the dog's paw in your hands to assess the color of the skin, the animal might pull its paw away. This may occur repeatedly, and the dog may even whimper or growl because of its discomfort. Some dogs that are experiencing pain will attempt to avoid people. For example, the dog might go to an empty room in the home and lie down.


In cases of frostbite that are particularly serious, you might notice some discharge in the areas of the dog's body that are affected. The discharge comes from an open wound, which means that there's a risk of infection—which is another reason that you should be prompt about seeking the care of a veterinarian. Discharge can vary in appearance, but is often yellow. Some dogs will lick the area, so you might not see any discharge unless you look carefully. There are several treatment options for a dog's frostbite, but it's important to get help from a veterinarian in a timely manner to prevent the condition from worsening.

Contact a local veterinarian to learn more.