Vets offer advice to keep pets safe in cold weather

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CHICAGO — Chicago veterinarians are reminding pet owners that bitter cold temperatures can result in serious health problems for pets and even lead to death.

Cats should not be outdoors at all and dogs should only be allowed out for a few minutes to complete their business, then be brought back inside.

Pets can suffer from frostbite within minutes. Their tails, ears and the tips of their toes are especially susceptible. Contact your veterinarian immediately if you see any signs of frostbite, including skin that is very pale, white or bright red, swollen, painful or peeling.

Animals may also suffer from hypothermia, a lowering of body temperature that can lead to serious health problems and even death. Signs of hypothermia include shivering, listlessness and lack of coordination.

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