Cold weather question FEET (moved to basic care) - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 12-07-2013, 07:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Cold weather question FEET (moved to basic care)

Today while our 16 month shepherd was taking her usual early morning walk through the neighborhood, about half way through the walk she started to favor a pad or two, which then led to her laying down to keep all her pads off the ground.

Anyway, the temperature this morning was minus 10 degrees and the walking conditions were ice and snow, very little of the streets are down to the surface. I was thinking I may have to carry her home and that would have been chore....but she is worth it. Once she got back up, we jogged home with no real problems....thankfully.

We have had two shepherds before this one and never seen this behavior and have walked both our previous shepherds in similar conditions without a problem. Later in the day, when we were out on the back deck, I noticed her suddenly pick up a hind leg off the ground and hold it off the icy/snowy surface for 10 seconds or so. I am thinking she may be a bit different than our other shepherds and the stinging cold must "burn" her pads.

Basically, I am curious if anyone else has ever experienced something along these same lines.

Of course we have kept her inside most all day since this morning except for a quick break or two to take care of her business outside.

Also, is a frostbitten pad obvious to see or is it difficult to notice ( as all her pads look fine).

I suppose I may look into a set of boots for her and use them when the weather reaches these types of extremes.

I did inspect her paws and the undersides for the classic ice balls which form when they spend a fair amount of time out in the snow but they were minimal since I do trim the fur a bit between her toes.

Anyway, any and all insight is appreciated as always.

Take care and scratch some ears,

Super G

Last edited by SuperG; 12-07-2013 at 07:59 PM.
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Old 12-07-2013, 08:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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My dog(s) will do that when very cold out side. Ruff Wear has some great boots for dogs. Keep those feet protected from cold and heat.
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Old 12-07-2013, 08:17 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Salt hurts their paws, they can get painful balls of snow, if between the paw pads is not trimmed right down. I've only ever used paw wax and kept the hair trimmed. Some dogs are more sensitive than others, my Scotch Collie, was out, do business and in, usually limping for no reason, Oz he'll stay out all day and goodness help you if you shovel snow and he cannot participate and my Saint, well, the rougher the cold, the more snow, the less likely she is to come inside ROFL!
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Old 12-08-2013, 12:38 AM   #4 (permalink)
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About 18 years ago I had to carry an 80 lb dog 50 yards across a snow covered plowed field in blizzard conditions with a -30F wind chill. His legs had gotten too cold and he just laid down. The experience made an impression on me.

We put boots on the dogs when the actual air temps get below about 0F and there is little or no snow. Much snow depth causes a problem for the booties though as they get pulled off, or cause the dog more trouble than they're worth, so we just stay close and watch closely for signs of distress when there is a lot of snow.

Finally, we have a dog rescue sled set up in case one gets immobilized out there in the snow. I doubt I could repeat my feat of 2 decades ago, and I know my wife couldn't.
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Old 12-08-2013, 01:01 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Usually that happens when there is salt on the ground. In fact, it happens a lot around here--I have to stop and brush off Rafi's feet.

However, when I lived in Wisconsin I do remember the cold bothering my old gsd Massie. I assumed she probably had a little arthritis in her feet.

Booties are a good solution but do be aware that if you walk a lot or walk in ta lot of snow, condensation will build up inside the boots and cause blisters.
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