Animals, especially small ones, are very curious and mobile, so they often become victims of accidents. Burns in dogs are possible in the house and on a walk. Therefore, the owner of the animal needs to know what to do if the pet is burned.
Causes of Dog Burns
Dog burns can cause:
- high temperature (boiling water, flame, steam, hot objects);
- chemicals (acid, alkali, alkali metal salts);
- radiation (solar);
- caustic biological substances (juice of poisonous plants).
Thermal burns can be caused by various thermal factors. The degree of damage depends on temperature, duration of exposure, the area of damage. So, for example, if boiling water was spilled on a dog, then its exposure time does not exceed more than a few seconds. Therefore, burns from boiling water, as a rule, are of the I-II degree and do not threaten life. A dog can get severe, and sometimes fatal, burns with boiling liquid if its exposure is long or takes up a large area of the body, for example, if the animal falls into boiling water.
Severe burns are caused by an open flame, as there is an effect from three factors - red-hot particles falling on the skin and coat, heat radiation and hot air. If the coat ignites, then until it is extinguished, the skin will be affected, affecting not only the upper layers, but also deeper - subcutaneous tissue, and sometimes muscles, bones. Burns from an open flame are the most severe and often lead to pain shock and death of the animal.
Highly damaging chemicals are rarely found in households. But even a pipe cleaner, bleach, or stove cleaner can cause a severe chemical burn in a dog, especially if it gets into the eyes, mucous membranes of the nose or mouth. Acids rarely cause a severe degree of damage, since due to coagulation of the protein in the surface layer the acid does not penetrate deep into. Much more severe burns cause alkali.
Electric burns are often received by puppies, gnawing everything, including wires. In case of electric shock, the burn area is small, but it is very deep, since the electricity in the body spreads through the most electrically conductive media - biological fluids, cerebrospinal fluid, and muscles. The skin has a lower electrical conductivity.
Radiation exposure can be caused by both ultraviolet and infrared radiation. Burns from radiation damage in dogs practically do not occur. Most often, animals that do not have a dense coat of hair - bald dog breeds or light-haired short-haired animals - suffer from solar radiation. In them, exposure to direct sunlight can cause a burn of I, less often II degree. A dog can get a burn from infrared radiation from a hot radiator of a battery, a fireplace.
Caustic sap of plants, such as hogweed, stonecrop, cayenne pepper can cause severe burns to the mucous membranes of the mouth and eyes.
Degree of Defeat and Symptoms
Dog burns are classified according to several characteristics. For example, at the location:
- skin surface;
- organs of vision;
- oral cavity and respiratory tract.
And according to the degree of severity, they are divided into the following:
- I - damage affects the upper layer of the epidermis and causes redness, burning, slight swelling. Healing takes place within a few days without leaving cicatricial changes.
- II - the upper layer of the skin is damaged with the formation of vesicles (visicles) filled with serous fluid, redness and swelling. After opening the bubbles, pink erosion is exposed. The wound heals within a few weeks and without consequences.
- III - the surface and deep layers of the skin are affected. Bullae (large bubbles) or scabs form on the surface, the color of which depends on the type of thermal factor and can vary from black or brown dry (flame, hot object) or grayish and soft (boiling water). The third degree is divided into 2 degrees, denoted by the letters A and B.
- IV - carbonization of not only the entire thickness of the skin, but also muscles and bones.
Burns in dogs of the I-II degree heal independently, without leaving scars, if secondary suppuration does not occur. At the III-IV degree, cleaning of the focus from necrotic tissue with subsequent plastic surgery of the wound surface is required. Severe burns cause failure of internal organs, impaired hydration, decreased immunity, and the accumulation of toxins. Symptoms that accompany a burn depend on the degree and area of the lesion. Common symptoms are:
- local or general temperature increase;
With a severe burn, fever symptoms may occur. Extensive lesions of considerable depth may be accompanied by:
- tachycardia, increased heart rate;
- tremor of limbs.
The dog has arousal, which is replaced by apathy. Urine output decreases, its color and smell change. Further extensive burns can cause failure of some organs, cardiac or respiratory arrest, collapse and death.
Treatment of burns of various etiologies
Treatment for burns in dogs depends on:
- type of thermal or chemical agent;
- the size of the affected area;
- degree of burn;
- the presence of a secondary infection;
- general condition of the animal.
If the dog received burns, then before the arrival of the veterinarian, first aid should be given to her.
First aid to the animal
Immediately, the factor that caused the burn should be eliminated - to bring down the flame, turn off the current. If the dog has suffered a thermal burn, then it is necessary to attach an ice bubble, a napkin moistened with ice water. Keep the cold about half an hour. Then the hair is cut and a sterile dressing is applied. Do not lubricate the burn. This can subsequently complicate wound healing.
If the chemical burn was caused by acid, then after it is washed off with a large amount of water, it is necessary to neutralize the acid with a 2% solution of ordinary soda. In case of a burn with alkali, it is also washed off with water and neutralized with a 2% solution of acid (citric, acetic). Alkali salts or quicklime cannot be washed off with water. They are removed with sunflower oil.
If the burn occupies a large area and penetrates deep into the tissue, then the dog needs to be wrapped in a blanket to warm and give water to drink.
For burns of the I-II degree, external agents are used. Sprays and ointments with anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and reparative properties. Massive and deep burns require treatment with antiseptics, removal of dead and charred tissues. If a secondary infection has joined, then the animal is injected with antibiotics.
If the oral cavity is burned, and the dog cannot eat on its own, then apply food through a nasal tube, intravenous administration of nutrient solutions or food through an esophagostoma. If the burn caused swelling of the airways, then a tracheotomy is performed to restore breathing. In any case, the dog is given pain medication, as burns cause pain.
Watch the video and learn more about pet burns:
With severe burns in a dog in the veterinarian, several types of surgical treatment are used:
- necrotomy - when the scab formed during deep burns is cut to restore blood supply to the tissues and prevent their necrosis;
- necroectomy - removal of charred and dead tissue, cleansing the focus of the burn;
- amputation - if the degree of burn is such that it is not possible to save the paw;
- skin transplantation - used in animals with very large foci. The skin of the dogs is very mobile and minor defects are simply sutured.
If less than 13% of the body is burnt in a dog, then the prognosis of treatment is favorable. With a burn of 50% or more, the prognosis is unfavorable.