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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 26210
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience.
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My elderly 14 yo male cat got frozen feet last night and s

Customer Question

Hey my elderly 14 yo male cat got frozen feet last night and his paws seem to be puffed up today hes walking on them but there seems to be a little discoordination. What can be done and what is his prognosis?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. The prognosis for frostbitten patients is variable depending on the amount of tissue affected:

Extremities (ear tips, toes, tail tip) may slough or require amputation without affecting the quality of life or longevity.

More substantial frostbite (e.g., limbs) carries a greater risk of systemic complications such as infection and therefore a more guarded prognosis.

Hypothermia may complicate frostbite and alter the prognosis, depending on the severity.

Acute general treatment consists of ensuring hemodynamic stability first (e.g., maintaining the proper arterial blood pressure). Profound bradycardia (slow heart rate) due to hypothermia may be present. Central warming techniques may be beneficial (warmed IV fluids, e.g.). The affected areas should be immersed in warm (102-104F) water and then dried. Sterile, light, non-compressive bandages are placed over wounds. Antioxidant agents such as lidocaine andN-acetylcysteine are considered if there's a risk of reperfusion injury. Infected wounds or sloughing tissue should be debrided but questionable tissue should be left intact until more definitive assessment can be made.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
Hi Aaron,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Michael Salkin