Don’t Let Fido be Your Downfall This Winter

Along with fireside cups of cocoa and the beauty of occasional snowfall, winter in Oklahoma also leads to weather-related injuries.

“The phone rings off the hook the day after an ice storm!” says Mary Ferraro, APRN-CNP, with Utica Park Clinic Orthopedics in Claremore. “Slips and falls can lead to broken ankles, wrists, elbows, shoulders and other injuries. For those who are osteoporotic, meaning they have weakened or brittle bones, the risk goes up exponentially.”

Add in a rambunctious dog at the end of a leash, and it becomes a recipe for disaster.

“If at all possible, let Fido out on his own so he can do his business without putting you at risk,” Ferraro says. “A securely fenced area is ideal. Using a lead rope tied close to the door is another option.”

Tips for Avoiding Winter Injuries

1.       Plan ahead for yourself, family and pets. Gather necessities and supplies in advance to reduce the time that you have to be out during inclement weather.

2.       Clear steps and porches of anything that could end up hidden under snow or ice, creating a tripping hazard.

3.       Wear footwear designed for icy and snowy conditions.

4.       When walking, slow down and take shorter strides.

5.       Keep your charged cell phone handy in case of an emergency. A portable charger is also a good idea.

“The old saying ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’ is never more appropriate than during a winter storm,” Ferraro says.

The offices of Ferraro and orthopedic surgeon Dr. Brian Ogg are located on the campus of Hillcrest Hospital Claremore. For questions or to schedule an appointment for orthopedic care, please call 918-343-8574.