How To Treat Burns And Frostbite In Dogs

In winter, the dog can get overcooled and get frostbite of the limbs. Therefore, each owner should know what symptoms of frostbite exist and how to prevent this condition. The same applies to burns. The clinical picture of burns is somewhat similar to frostbite. In this article, you will learn what types of burns and frostbite can occur in dogs, and how to provide primary first aid to your pet if necessary.

Degrees of frostbite in dogs and treatment methods

Most often, dogs frostbite the soft pads of their fingers, scrotum, ears and nipples. Sick dogs that are unable to move are also susceptible to General hypothermia. The animal dies when the body temperature drops to 22° C.

To preserve the life and health of the dog, at the first sign of frostbite, always contact a veterinary clinic for qualified help. In case of emergency, provide first aid to your pet yourself.

Clinical signs of various degrees of frostbite are quite similar to the degrees of burns in dogs:

  1. First degree frostbite. The skin of the dog turns pale due to circulatory disorders. The damaged area must be lubricated with a solution of 0.5% diamond green or 5% tannin solution. If there is no suitable medicine in the home medicine Cabinet, you can use antiseptic wipes. The first degree of frostbite with proper treatment passes in a few days.
  2. Second degree. After the dog is placed in a warm room for warming, after a certain period of time, swelling and blisters filled with liquid appear on the damaged areas. The frostbitten area is smeared with a solution of 0.5% brilliant green, and short Novocain-antibiotic blockades are performed. In the case of surgical treatment, Vishnevsky ointment is used.
  3. Third degree. The task of a veterinarian with this degree of frostbite is to transfer wet gangrene to dry. To do this, the damaged area of the skin is smeared with an iodine solution and covered with an aseptic bandage. Then the treatment follows the standard scheme: quartz, sollux, Vishnevsky balsamic ointment, streptocide, penicillin. During the period of chills, it is advisable to place the animal in a warm place and do a massage.
  4. Fourth degree. Leads to necrosis of animal tissues and limbs. Treatment — amputation and removal of the damaged area of the skin, followed by postoperative care.

General rules for first aid in case of frostbite of a dog:

  • wipe the frozen skin area with an alcohol (or manganese) solution;
  • apply a bandage with cotton wool to warm the affected area;
  • to provide the animal a rest;
  • feed and water your dog with fresh black sweet tea.

The most important thing is not to RUB the dog’s frostbitten limbs with snow, as this can lead to adverse consequences. An infection can get through the damaged area, which will worsen the animal’s already serious condition.

In recent years, there has been a practice of warming frostbitten areas of the dog’s body in a fast way, i.e. the heating temperature from 36° C to 50° C shows better results compared to slow warming. When there is a rapid warming of tissues, the action of salt solutions does not have time to be carried out in the extracellular space. That is why frostbitten animals are recommended to immediately start in a warm room.

Burn of the dog's finger pads

Types of burns in dogs

When a chemical or high-temperature agent acts on the skin, burns of various degrees of severity occur. There are three main types of burns:

  • Chemical — comes from the action of aggressive chemicals.
  • Thermal — occurs as a result of high temperature.
  • Electric — causes an electric shock to the animal’s tissues.

By degrees, burns are divided into:

  1. First degree. The skin is red, swollen and painful. Body temperature is slightly elevated.
  2. Second degree. Areas of burned skin are red, bubbles with a clear liquid appear.
  3. Third degree. You can divide it into two more categories:
    — when the upper layers of the skin are affected, without disturbing the structure of the hair follicles. The skin is swollen, with a blue tint and bloody blisters;
    — when all skin layers are affected with a violation of the structure of the hair follicles. The tissues are white and bleed.
  4. Fourth degree. All layers of tissue are affected. The skin is charred and blackened.

If the tissue is damaged by steam or boiling water, burns usually do not exceed 1 and 2 degrees.
Thermal burns are of all types of degrees, electric burns — the third or fourth degree of severity. In case of thermal burns, the respiratory tract and eyes are often affected in addition to the skin.

With a large area of damage to the skin, the dog develops burn disease. I.e., the pet begins to show signs of burn shock, and begins to absorb decay products from necrotic (dead) tissues into the blood. Therefore, with a large burn area, more than 30% of the animal’s body, the veterinarian and the owner decide on euthanasia. During treatment, novocaine blockade is used to relieve the General condition. A clean bandage with burdock or sea buckthorn oil is applied to the burn site. In no case should you open blisters on the animal’s skin.

Take care of the proper nutrition of the dog and the place of detention. The room should not be draughty. Vitamin complexes, Apilac, flower pollen have proven themselves well in the treatment of burns.

burned dog

Burns to the eyes

Eye burns in dogs, unfortunately, are not uncommon. They appear as a result of exposure to chemical reagents, high temperature, and ultraviolet rays on the visual organs. When the eyes are affected, the dog begins to RUB its muzzle with its paws, screams, rubs its head and eyes against objects, eyelid edema and lacrimation begin.

The most common eye burns in dogs:

  • Thermal — occur due to the impact on the tissues and organs of vision of boiling fat, water, or an open flame. As a rule, Pets kept in urban conditions are susceptible to such burns. They spend most of their time in the kitchen, where they get eye damage. The severity of the burn always depends on the degree of damage to the soft visual tissues.
    Before the doctor arrives, wash the dog’s eyes with plenty of water and apply a special eye ointment over the animal’s eyelids. Eyelids and nearby skin of the dog should be treated with a strong solution of manganese, give painkillers.
  • Chemical – occur as a result of exposure to chemicals on the eyes. What you need to do before the doctor arrives:
    — wash the dog’s eyes with plenty of water until all harmful substances are completely removed. Do not use special chemical solutions for eye washing. After providing primary care, you need to take the dog to a veterinarian’s appointment or wait for the arrival at the house;
  • Ultraviolet – occur as a result of improper treatment of the dog’s cornea with UV rays. Symptoms of eye damage:
    — after 8 hours, the dog begins to RUB its eyes with its paws;
    — rubs his head against objects;
    — my eyes start to get red and watery;
    — the eyelids do not open due to a strong spasm.

Before applying to the clinic, the owner should give the dog painkillers, and put cold cotton swabs on his eyes. An action has an ointment for the eyes. It must be laid directly behind the eyelids of the animal. After primary care, you should immediately show the animal to a veterinarian.


burned dog

First aid for burns

The first thing to do is to eliminate all the damaging factors. If the dog’s fur is on fire, then it must be doused with a large amount of water, or covered with a dense cloth to stop the flow of oxygen to the place of ignition.

If your pet has a chemical burn, follow these steps::

  1. wash the damaged area of the skin;
  2. neutralize the alkalis with acids. For example, you can use 3% citric acid or 2% acetic acid%;
  3. neutralize acids with alkalis, 10% baking soda solution.
  4. in case of a chemical burn with quicklime, it is necessary to fill the place of damage with olive, vegetable or other oil. Be sure to remove the hair from the affected skin and lime particles from the nearest areas of the dog’s body.

For thermal burns, the following methods should be used:

  • place the burned animal’s limbs in cool water for 20-25 minutes. Or put your pet’s paw under a stream of cold running water;
  • to treat burn wounds, you can use a solution of potassium permanganate, alcohol tinctures, fish oil;

The dog must be given a drink of sweet black tea and taken to the nearest veterinary clinic.

To protect and protect a four-legged friend from burns and frostbite, you must adhere to certain rules: keep the animal clean and monitor its habitat, avoid hypothermia and close access to chemicals at home. Do not leave the dog on the street without supervision, and during severe cold weather, take care of its clothes.
Careful handling of your pet will allow you to avoid sad accidents.