Bovis ISSN 2398-2993

Frostbite

Synonym(s): Ear necrosis

Contributor(s): Mo Kemp , John Tulloch

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Introduction

  • Cause: exposure to extremely low environmental temperature (sub-zero) for a significant time period.
  • Signs: cold extremities, loss of tissue perfusion and potential sloughing/necrosis.
  • Diagnosis: history of exposure to cold temperatures and clinical signs.
  • Treatment: rapid thawing and prevention of re-freezing and supportive care.
  • Prognosis: depends on length of exposure to cold temperatures and whether re-freezing can be avoided.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Tissue damage due to loss of tissue perfusion.

Predisposing factors

General

  • Prolonged exposure to sub-zero temperatures.
  • Poor Nutrition Nutrition.
  • Lack of provision of adequate shelter/bedding.

Pathophysiology

  • Prolonged lack of perfusion to tissue resulting in cell death and subsequent necrosis.

Timecourse

  • Depending on temperature, wind chill and humidity and length of exposure, frostbite can occur rapidly.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

Other sources of information

  • Virginia Cooperative Extension.
  • A G Evans (1990) Diseases of the skin. In: Large Animal Internal Medicine, 2nd Edn, Ed: B P Smith, Mosby, p1438.
  • Moschella S L, Hurley H J (1985) Dermatology. 2nd Edn. Philadelphia, W B Saunders. pp 1679-1682.
  • Dieterich R A (1983) Cold Injury. In: Kirk R W. Ed: Current Veterinary Therapy VIII, Philadelphia, W B Saunders. pp187-189.

Organisation(s)

  • Wern Veterinary surgeons.


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