Boiling water, barbecue, fireplace, sun, contact with a chemical. Many are the occasions for your dog to burn. How to react if an accident happened? And how to recognize a burn on your dog?
Several types of burns in dogs
On a daily basis, a burn on a dog can be caused by:
Contact with a source of heat such as fire, water, boiling oil or even the sun. We are talking about the thermal burn.
Contact with so-called caustic chemicals such as very acidic or very alkaline products. We are talking about the chemical burn.
By the effect of an electric current in case of electrification. This often happens with puppies that chew the electric wires.
We tend to forget it, but burns can also be caused by intense cold. This type of burns called gels will not be addressed in the rest of this article.
Burns of different severity
First of all, it is necessary to quickly evaluate the severity of the burn. This depends :
of the depth of the injured tissues. Depending on this depth, one classifies burns according to their degree :
1st degree. The lesions affect only the epidermis, the most superficial layer of the skin. The skin is red, dry and painful but does not show a blister. She can peel during her healing. This is typically the degree of burn that corresponds to a slight sunburn.
2nd superficial degree. The epidermis is touched as well as the superficial dermis. The skin appears red, wet, with potential cloques. These lesions are very painful but generally cure without leaving a scar.
2nd deep degree. The epidermis, the deep dermis and the subcutaneous greasy fabric are affected. The skin is red with a matte appearance with white areas. The deep ulcers of this type of burn take time to heal and leave scars.
3rd degree. All layers of the skin, hair follicles and subcutaneous grease are harmed. On the other hand, this type of lesion is less painful than the more superficial burns because the nerve terminations have been destroyed. The skin takes a cardboard appearance, with a texture hard to the touch due to the formation of a thick crust of necrotic tissues and coagulated blood. The crust ends up falling and reveals an ulcerated zone.
4th degree. All the depth of the skin is burned, and burn can even extend to tissues located under the skin like muscles, tendons and bone. The affected area is not painful but covered with a thick and hard crust.
Deep burns, beyond the lesions whose healing will have consequences for the future aesthetic aspect of the animal, can also cause potentially fatal serious medical complications for the animal: compression syndrome of the lodges, respiratory distress, sepsis or even electrolytic problems or coagulation.
The severity of a burn also depends on its extent, that is to say, the percentage of the body surface that is affected by the burn. Animals burned from the second degree on more than 30% of their body surface area should be placed in intensive care. Beyond 50% of the affected body surface, the prognosis is very dark and can sometimes justify the euthanasia of the animal.
It should be known that the actual and definitive extent of a burn is apparent only five days after its occurrence because the tissues can continue to necrosis during the few days after the accident. In case of profound burning, however, it should not be waited until this time before consulting your veterinarian.
Know how to recognize skin lesions related to a burn
Generally, the problem does not arise because it is common for us to know which incident caused the burn. On the other hand, if this is not the case, it is important to know how to differentiate a burn of any other skin lesion due to a dermatological problem with which one can confuse it. What characterizes burns is the presence of a clear demarcation between burned skin and free skin. Unlike most dermatological conditions, burn-related lesions may have non-symmetrical unusual forms with straight or angular edges.
My dog was burned: how to react?
In case of thermal or chemical burns
In case of a burn, the first reflex to have thoroughly irrigated the burned area with fresh (but not frozen) water to relieve pain for 10 to 15 minutes. Otherwise, you can also use a clean, clean water laundry that you will apply on the burned area without pressing.
In case of a chemical burn, make sure that water does not run into the eyes or mucous membranes at the risk of expanding the burn to these fragile tissues. In rare cases of a chemical burn, rinse with water can be inappropriate. In order not to make odds, it is necessary to systematically refer to the information on the label and the safety data sheet of the chemical that caused the burn.
If the burning is superficial and 1st degree, the lesions will heal spontaneously. To reduce desquamation and to soothe the pain, you can apply by delicate massages a bikini-type fat cream or a mixture of essential oil aspirin and olive oil (2ml of essential oil for 10ml of Olive oil) every day until the state of the skin is improved. You can also administer Belladona 5ch granules, two granules every 2 hours, to relieve it more efficiently.
If the burn is deeper (from a second-degree burn), your dog requires care provided by a veterinarian. Consult it as soon as possible. Care may simply consist of the administration of antibiotics to avoid infections and the protection of the wound with a special dressing that will help to heal and limit the leak of liquids by the wound. Deeper and/or extended injuries may require surgery or even investment in intensive care animal.
In case of electric burning
In case of electrification, do not touch the dog and immediately cut electricity, if you can. Once the electrical risk is removed, you can water burns with cold water while waiting to check your veterinarian quickly.
However, in the case of electrification, the burns are generally not the sequelae of the passage of the electric current through the body of the animal. The victim dog will be driven to the veterinarian to be under surveillance and that, even though it seems to go well because complications such as breathing difficulties or oedema can occur up to 48 hours after the accident.