With winter weather, watch pets and chemicals on sidewalks

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A cold rain and a blustery north wind reminds us that winter is still alive in The Heartland.

A wintry mix is in the extended forecast, and many will be purchasing ice and snow remover, you may want to give the active ingredients a second look.
Choosing the right de-icer can keep your family pets healthy in times of wintry weather. Potassium chloride and Magnesium chloride are common and generally non-toxic, but can also be harmful to our furry friends at high concentrations.
Doctor Gary Strickland sees it every winter--a canine companion suffering from cracked, painful paws.

Chemical burns caused by melting salts are a common ailment whenever wintry weather comes around.

"Dogs that have a lot of hair on their feet, they tend to pick that up between their toes. Cause a lot of irritation between their feet."

The canine's raw paws can then be prone to infection as the cracked skin allows for bacteria to enter, making it very painful and hard for them to walk.

Some cases have been worse as the chemicals become ingested.

"They become ill from licking on that, causing upset stomachs."

Doctor Strickland says not to panic if your pet gets into melting salt because he hasn't seen any life-threatening cases yet.

"Main thing is clean those areas, cut the hair. Trim the hair. Put some type of protection on the foot as far as an ointment or something like that can help."

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