First Aid for Treating Dog Burns

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Dog burns can occur from a variety of different things; like the sun, chemicals or even hot asphalt during the summer. If the burn appears to be severe and has penetrated through several layers of skin, your dog will most definitely require medical attention. However, most burns are minor and can be treated at home.

Sunburn and Radiation

Monitoring your dog's time spent outdoors at peak hours of sunshine is important to avoiding unnecessary sunburn. While most dogs with lightly pigmented skin, such as those that are white, fawn or have white spotting, will be more likely to burn, all dogs are susceptible to sunburn when exposed for long periods of time.

Signs of sunburn usually include redness of the burned area, swelling and general discomfort or pain with the burned area. If you notice any of these signs, you should begin treatment at home immediately so that the burn does not continue to radiate through the lower layers of skin.

In order to treat sunburn, you will need to apply a cold ice pack, or pack of frozen vegetables, for about 15 to 20 minutes. The coolness will help to bring down the swelling and stop the spread of the burn. You will then want to wash the area with soap and water because to the burn leaves the open layers of skin susceptible to infection.

After you have cleansed the area, you may then apply an antibiotic cream, such as Neosporin. You should also be sure to cover the wound with some gauze and tape. However, your dog will probably attempt to get the gauze and tape off of him so you will probably have to repeat this process a few times until the skin has grown back over the burn.

Chemical Burns

Burns of a chemical or acidic nature are generally the most dangerous to your dog. They can cause intense burning and severe destruction to the outer layers of skin. When your dog has experienced a chemical burn, you will notice that the area is extremely red and a lot of time the hair will have been completely singed off. This is usually how you can tell the difference between sunburn and a chemical burn.

Regardless of what type of chemical has caused the burn, you will first need to wash the area with cool water to try to remove most of the chemical from the surface of the skin. Then, make a mixture of four teaspoons of baking soda for every two cups of water. Apply this to the burned area and it should counteract the chemical.

Asphalt Burns

While it can certainly be enjoyable to take your dog on a walk on a nice day, you also need to be aware that the hot, black asphalt can be very harmful to the pads of your dog's feet. If you notice that your dog's paws have become red and sensitive to the touch, it is a good indication that they are burned.

You can apply the same method of treatment to your dog's feet as you would use for sunburn. Simply soak your dog's feet in some cool water for about five minutes and then wash very carefully with soap and water. After you have done that, apply some antibiotic cream to the area so that it will heal properly.


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