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What to Do If Your Dog Gets Burned

Dogs are most often burned when hot liquids or caustic substances such as strong acids or cleaning solutions are spilled on them. Dogs may also get too close to a candle, stove, or fire. Some dogs can even get a blistering sunburn, especially on the first sunny day after the winter.

Burns are classified by degrees, depending on their severity:

  • First degree: In a first-degree burn, the hair is singed and the skin may be reddened.

  • Second degree: In a second-degree burn the hair is burned off and the skin is red and blistered.

  • Third degree: In a third degree burn, the skin is black, brown, or white. If the third-degree burn is extensive, the dog may go into shock.

If the burn was caused by a caustic liquid, wipe or rinse it off before treating it. For all burns, here are treatment suggestions:

  • Minor burns (first and second degree): If the burn occurred within the last hour, apply a cold pack for 20 to 30 minutes and then treat the burn as a superficial wound.

  • Severe burns (third degree): If your dog permits, apply a cold pack or a cold, wet cloth to the area, cover gently with gauze, and take her to the veterinarian as soon as possible.

    Never apply ointments or butter to severe burns, and never touch the skin or rub anything on it.

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