With the extreme cold, people and animals are at risk of developing frostbite and hypothermia.

Janelle Evans, a veterinarian technician at Prairie Animal Health Centre, said that an animals ears, paws, tail, and face are most susceptible to frostbite.

"We've had a lot of cats, and even if you visit the local shelter, you'll see all those little kitties that don't have ears, that's due to frostbite. It actually causes the skin to fall off and so you'll see cats with just little nubby ears." shared Evans. "We've seen them lose part of their tail and sometimes even the pads of their feet."

She said proper shelter and dry bedding is key for animals left outdoors but keeping animals inside, if possible, is the safest place for them during extreme cold.

"Proper shelter is, they should have some sort of heating/heater, like your farm cats, if you can provide a heat lamp for them that would be great, or even bedding, like straw or blankets. They need to be able to get out of the wind and out of the snow."

Another tip, especially for farmers, is banging on the hood of your car before starting it to prevent injury of any cats who may have crawled up under the hood for warmth, according to Evans. As for those with cattle, Evans said although they have been able to adapt to the cold somewhat they still need protection from the elements.

"It is important that they are given bedding, whether that's cereal straw or straw of some sort, so they can bed down in something that's not cold, wet snow, and if you can provide also shelter from wind, so a shelter belt, an open face shed, anything like that."

Evans said outdoor animals may also need more food in the cold so that they can conserve more of their energy for staying warm. Also, all animals need access to fresh water said Evans, as eating snow will not be adequate hydration. A heated bowl may be required to keep the water from freezing or just replacing the water several times a day.

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