Healing burns in dogs
If you have a dog certainly you are interested in this article from Animal Expert where we bring you a first aid theme, cure dog burns .
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Did you know that dogs can burn not only with fire? Do you know what types of burns you may suffer? Or how to cure them? And, above all, how to prevent them?
We hope you never need to do what we’ll explain next due to a burn on your pet, but in case that happens, we want to help!
What is a burn?
Burns are lesions produced on the skin of an animal due to the action of some type of agent that may have produced them such as heat, radiation, chemicals, electricity or even cold. These injuries happen due to the total dehydration of the layers of the skin that they are detached. It is a very painful injury and the consequences of an untreated burn properly can pass through infection until the animal’s death. So if our dog burns in any way, it is very important to stay calm and act effectively, preventing the burn from spreading and increasing its severity.
We can classify burns in several types according to their cause:
- Scalds: when they are lesions produced by hot or boiling liquids.
- Corrosions: If they are produced by corrosive chemicals.
- Electrical burns: if they are produced by electricity.
- Radionecrosis or radiation burns: If they are produced by ionizing radiations, such as x-rays or gamma rays from the sun.
- Freezes: If they are produced by excess of cold.
- Burns from fire or contact with hot material: when it comes into contact with hot metal surfaces or directly with flames or fire.
In addition, lesions due to burns differ and are aggravated by the amount of surface of the burned body and by the depth of the burnings.
The degrees of burns are:
- First degree : First-degree burns are the mildest, most superficial and usually heal well in a week or so. They are easy to treat and their symptoms are redness of the skin, feeling of swelling and burning and lack of skin in the affected region. These are the only burns we can actually cure at home without much concern, the rest of the grades require urgent veterinary attention.
- Second degree : These burns are deeper and more painful than the first degree. In addition to the symptoms of first-degree burns, second-degree burns present with liquid. Usually it usually takes about three weeks to heal and is relatively easy to heal.
- Third Degree : Third degree burns are the deepest, most painful, most difficult to cure and even fatal, depending on the affected surface and region. In this case the skin burns completely and the burn reaches the layer of body fat. The skin becomes dry, scorched and hardened once it has completely dehydrated. There may be reddish skin around it that will be very painful because the nerve endings still remain active, but the center of the burn will be black and in fact will not be painful because the nerve endings have been completely destroyed. The treatment and healing is painful and may deform.
- Fourth grade : This degree is the deepest, because the burn reaches the muscle, including the bone and internal organs. Carbonization and necrosis of the skin, the body fat layer, the musculature and the bones are produced. Obviously, since it is worse than third-degree burn, it is more complicated to deal with because there may be unconsciousness due to pain and even death, depending on the amount of surface and region affected. Treatment and healing are painful and can cause deformities.
In case of any burn, but especially in the house of the most serious, there is risk of shock and infection . The shock caused by burns happens because an injury of this type causes the exit of blood circulation, the transcutaneous loss of energy in the form of heat and significant loss of water, besides the entrance of the infection and all this produces what is called syndrome or shock by burn that happens with serious alterations of the metabolic balance and of the cardiovascular, pulmonary, hepatic and renal functions. when an animal enters this state its possibilities are very scarce.
In addition, the most common degrees of burn in dogs and cats are first degree and second, but in the case of dogs, if the body encounters a surface of 30% second degree burn or 50% burns of third or fourth degree, there is much hope that you can overcome this accident without going through extreme pain. This often causes, at this point, to apply euthanasia thus avoiding the suffering they may have.
Dogs are much more likely to suffer burns because they are much more active and curious. Often we find dogs wandering around, nibbling electric cables or cleaning product containers that may contain corrosive agents that cause a burn.
Causes of burns in dogs
As we saw earlier, there are several ways for a dog to burn. Here we explain the main causes, what happens and some symptoms:
- Boiling Liquids : Sometimes while we cook our dog likes to keep us company and expects something delicious to fall to eat. If you eat something that has come straight from the pan, you will probably scald your mouth, but with plenty of water, it is likely that it will soon pass. in addition, we may stumble into it can put the legs in the kitchen fire zone attracted by the smell of the food and thus produce water, oil, broth, milk or other liquids boiling over it, the oil being the most serious case .
- Prolonged sun exposure: It produces sunburns, also called radiation burns. Many dogs love the heat and spend hours lying in the sun, running, playing, sleeping or doing any activity. As in people, the sun in excess can cause burns, long-term skin damage and even skin cancer in dogs. Special care should be taken with light-skinned dogs such as Bull Terriers, Dalmatians and Samoens. We should also bear in mind that the denser the hair is and the longer it is, the more protected it will be from the sun. Thus, those with light or pink skin and short skin are more prone to sunburn. Due to the regions with less hair, the areas most affected are the muzzle, the tips of the ears and the belly. They are also more prone to these burns the muzzle of dogs of breeds in which the snout and the root are little pigmented and pink, like the Border Collies. In fact, those who may be more prone to skin problems and sunburn are dogs that have a naked or semi-naked body, ie, no fur, such as the dog without the hair of Peru or the Dog of Chinese crest. Finally, dogs with recent scars and therefore no skin on the new and weak skin area, also have a great facility for them to burn with the sun.
- Blows of a fire : Sometimes we go camping and when the fire is extinguished are still hot coals with which our dog can accidentally burn the paras. in principle it is a mild first-degree burn because the reaction of the dog will quickly move away the legs. We must remove the animal from the fire area and immediately freshen the paws with abundant cold water and wait for it to calm down. Your skin must have turned red and shiny.
- Biting electric cables : In this case the electrocution and burn happens in the mouth. Depending on the amount of electricity discharged into the animal the burn will be greater or less, the most disturbing being the loss of a good part of the snout due to third degree burns or internal burns difficult to detect. In addition, breathing difficulties, dizziness and unconsciousness may occur.
- Cleaning Products with Corrosive and Caustic Chemicals : Sometimes we can spill some chemical at home that we use for cleaning or other household chores. If our pet comes in contact with these liquids or powders and burns, the severity of the burn will depend entirely on the amount of substance that falls on the animal or the animal, the type of substance and the length of time this substance stays in contact with your body. We must think that dogs are very curious and if they are being born the teeth they can bite everything that appears to them ahead.
- Asphalt or dirt too hot : Sometimes we walk our dog in the hottest hours without thinking that the ground may be burning. We are not aware of this because we are on shoes, but our pets walk directly on their cushions, which can burn on asphalt, stone or too hot soil. Note that if this happens the dog will look for shade and do not want to walk. Their cushions are reddish, shiny and very warm.
- Freezing : When we have too much time outdoors in the winter or when we are going on a snow excursion, our furry companion runs the risk of freezing some of its parts. These parts most prone to freezing are the extremities of the body such as the ears, nose, tail, paws and above all, the paw pads of the legs that are in direct contact with the snow or cold. You can see that in this situation the dog refuses to walk, has the pads of red paws, the skin is bright and extremely cold.
How to act before a burn in our dog, treat it and heal it
Of course prevention is always more effective and preferable than moaning and having to treat a burn. But knowing how to act in the face of a burn in our pet is critical to providing you with the first aid you need and avoiding possible unwanted consequences such as infection, shock and even death.
Here are some steps you should take to treat all types of burns in our dogs:
- Lower skin temperature : Wet the affected area or any dog with cold water and plenty of water. In case of frostbite, for example on cushions and feet, we must do the opposite and raise the temperature. First remove the dog from the cold zone and take it to a warm place. Wrap your paws with wet cloths in hot water that should be removed and watered again whenever they cool or dry. You should gradually change the temperature to avoid thermal shocks.
- Remove debris : With the same cold water bath, if you notice remnants of the product that caused the burn in the dog, you should remove them gently. Do the same with loose skin. In principle with abundant water these residues leave alone, but if they see that resist, very gently with the fingers can rub the surface to help their disposal.
- Contact the vet : This should be done by two people while bathing the dog the other person can call the vet. It will help to calm down, and will give indications depending on the origin of the burn, the area and the severity.
- Healing cream, antibiotic or moisturizer : If the veterinarian does not tell us otherwise, we can, after a good cleaning, administer a thin layer of moisturizing cream, antibiotic or cicatrizant so that it begins to calm the pain and heal the burn. In addition the skin will be protected from the air and possible contaminations. it is very important that you do not apply any commercial moisturizing cream with alcohol and aromas, this can worsen the dog burn.
- Aloe Vera : If we do not have any moisturizing cream on hand, maybe you have aloe vera. Break a sheet and remove the gel and with your fingers, apply gently over the burn of our companion.
- Cover with sterile gauze : Again if the veterinarian does not tell us otherwise, you can cover the burned region with a sterile gauze moistened and not pressed. This will prevent possible environmental contamination of the wound, such as those caused by insects, which usually surround the wounds.
- At the vet : As soon as you arrive at the veterinarian, he should thoroughly inspect the animal and its burn. So you can offer the most appropriate treatment depending on the type of burn you have to treat. Certainly, part of the treatment will be the administration of painkillers due to the pain of the burns. Depending on the severity of the burn, intravenous fluids may be administered for rehydration of the dog. we must put an Elizabethan collar on the dog to prevent it from licking or scratching the burn wounds.
- Severe burns : If the naked eye can already perceive that the burn is serious, you should only apply a cold water bath, preferably without moving the animal of the place. Then call the veterinarian, since with creams or gauzes will not solve anything. In this case it is very important to act fast and let the vet do everything possible to save the dog.
Important to take into account before treating a burn in a dog :
- Electrocutions: We should turn off the electric current quickly and move the animal away from the cord without touching it, since we can still be electrocuted as well. Wear rubber gloves, a wooden stick or chair, but never anything metallic.
- Freezing: We should move the dog quickly to a warm place and cover it with a blanket in addition to covering the frozen parts with a cloth wet with hot water (it can not be boiling), to go regulating body temperature. Then go to the vet.
- Corrosive cleaning agents: In this case we should wash immediately with plenty of water to remove the product and in case of ingestion should never cause vomiting because corrosive agents can further harm the dog. What you should do is give him milk and if not drink give him with a syringe.
- Ice: It is not advised to use ice to lower the temperature of the burn. But if you use it, never apply it directly on the skin to lower the temperature, this can cause a second extreme cold burn. If you use ice, you should cover the ice well with a thick cloth that gradually releases the cold.
Advice on how to prevent burns
Let’s discuss what we can do to prevent any of these burns addressed earlier. All indications should apply to any dog of any breed and any age, but we must be more careful with puppies because they are still unaware of various hazards and are very curious, and moreover they are more fragile than an adult dog.
- We should always keep them away from the kitchen when we have the stove on and boiling liquids.
- Avoid giving him the letting them take food directly from the fire, so that they do not scald the mouth and the tongue.
- Try to have the cables collected behind the furniture or hidden so that it is difficult or impossible for them to touch or bite.
- Cleaning products should be stored in higher cabinets and not at ground level.
- When you leave on a trip, on a trip, etc., you should stop and rest. Give your dog water and a little shade.
- Water and shade must always be guaranteed. Never leave your pet for several hours in the garden without access to water or shade.
- You should also try not to walk too far into the sun and seek shadow paths.
- Avoid asphalts or lands that are excessively hot and that can burn the dog’s paws. It is completely inadvisable to take long walks in the hottest hours.
- Do not let it get too close to the fireworks.
- Apply special sun cream for dogs, which you can buy in specialized stores and veterinary clinics, in case your dog’s physical condition needs this measure (pink snout, white skin, hairless, etc). Consult your veterinarian about this point.
- In the snow you should keep an eye on your cushions or, if the dog leaves, use special protectors for the paws (boots, creams, etc.).
This article is purely informative, in YourCatCareguide.com.br we do not have the capacity to prescribe veterinary treatments nor to make any type of diagnosis. We suggest you bring your pet to the veterinarian in case of any type of condition or malaise.
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