Burns can be
caused by heat (i.e., scalding water or fire), chemicals(i.e.,
corrosives such as cleaning solvents), electrical shock, or radiation
(i.e., such as a sunburn). the extent of the skin damaged is dependent
on the length of exposure to the cause. As in humans, burns on dogs are
broken down into degrees of severity:
- A burn in
which the skin is red and slightly swollen and painful.
- The burn is
deeper and blistering is seen. These burns are extremely painful.
Healing usually occurs around 21 days of the burn if it does not get
- This is the
worst of all burns. These burns go past the full layer of skin and
into the tissues below the skin. They appeared charred, dry, and
leathery. The hair easily comes out if pulled. Because these burns
are so deep they usually destroy the nerve endings, and because of
this, they are not usually as painful as second degree burns.
Dogs From Burns:
If more than 50% of the dog's body surface is covered by 2nd degree
burns, or if more than 30% is involved by 3rd degree burns, survival is
All but minor burns require professional attention. Protect the burned
area to prevent further injury by wrapping loose fitting damp gauze
dressings and immediately go to your nearest emergency veterinary
clinic. This is especially true if 3rd degree burns or extensive 2nd
degree burns are involved because dogs with these kinds of burns are at
greater risk for shock, fluid loss, and developing infections.
burns involving less than 5% of the body surface can be treated at home.
Apply cool compresses (Not ice packs) for 20 minutes to relieve pain and
lessen the depth of the injury. Clip the coat over the burn and wash the
skin gently with a surgical antiseptic (diluted betadine scrub is a good
choice). Apply a topical antibiotic ointment, such as triple antibiotic
ointment and bandage the burned area. The bandage should be removed
daily so the wound can be cleansed and fresh antibiotic ointment
applied. Then redress and bandage the wound.
If the burns are caused by acid, alkali, gasoline, or other corrosive
chemicals, or even if they come in contact with the skin, immediately
flush the area with large quantities of water for at least 10 minutes.
Wear rubber gloves and bathe the dog with mild soap and water. Blot the
area dry. If you note any redness or blistering, call your vet for