Dogs, like humans, can be prone to burns. They are most often caused by a heat source, but not only. Chemicals, electric current, cold, radiation or friction can cause burn wounds.
The severity of the burn depends on various factors, including extent, cause, depth. This type of wound is in any case very often painful. A consultation with a veterinarian is recommended to assess the damage and provide adequate care.
Different types of burns in dogs
Burns are generally differentiated according to their depth. We distinguish :
- First degree burns: only the epidermis, the outermost layer of the skin, is affected. They mainly show up as redness and tenderness to touch, but the skin remains intact.
- Second-degree burns: they are characterized by the appearance of a blister and more intense pain. In addition to the epidermis, the deep layer of skin called the dermis, is partially affected.
- Third-degree burns are the most serious: epidermis and dermis are destroyed, and possibly even the underlying tissues (connective tissues and muscles). The affected area is then white, even brown or black, and often very painful.
Another criterion for evaluating the severity of a burn in dogs is its extent. In addition to pain, the burns can then cause edema, skin necrosis, infections and these risks will be all the more present the greater the severity and extent.
If your dog has burned himself, the first thing to do is to cool the burned area underwater as quickly as possible. It is best to put the dog in the shower and let cold water run over the area in question for 10 minutes. Also, prevent your dog from licking or scratching the wound, it could make the damage worse.
Do not put ice in direct contact with the skin, it can also cause burns. Do not use any products or creams either.
If you are exposed to a chemical or electrical current, be careful to protect yourself and your dog to safety before touching or wetting him.
Treatment of burns
In case of burn of your dog, contact your veterinarian, only he can see your animal in consultation and tell you what to do. This is all the more important as some burns can be complicated by infections or necrosis if they are not treated properly.
If the burn is not severe and not too extensive, local care may be sufficient.
If the severity and / or extent are more serious, your veterinarian may prescribe in addition to local care a general treatment (analgesics, antibiotics), or even hospitalization to put the dog on a drip. Indeed, extensive burns cause a significant loss of fluids, which must be compensated by intravenous rehydration. In some cases, the vet will follow up with certain additional blood tests.
In some severe cases, surgical treatment may be necessary to remove damaged tissue, and possibly use a skin graft for healing.
Prevention of burns
The best prevention is to be alert to the risk of burns your dog as you would with a child. For example: keep your dog outside the kitchen when cooking, keep him away from the barbecue when it is hot, keep him away from chemicals and electrical cables, apply a product to the pads before bring it to the snow.