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What are Burns and Scalds?

While the extent and severity of a burn may take up to 14 days to be seen, being aware of the symptoms of a burn, as well as the things your dog comes into contact with, can clue you in to a possible problem. Too much sun exposure, a chewed electrical cord, or blow drying can all burn your dog. Treatment can heal a burn or scald, depending on the intensity of the burn, and how quickly medical attention is sought.

Burns and scalds in dogs are caused by heat, radiation, electric shocks, and chemicals. They can vary in intensity from mild to severe, and can cause secondary conditions, such as infections, dehydration, and even renal failure. This is why they require immediate attention from a trained professional.

Burns and Scalds Average Cost

From 282 quotes ranging from $300 - $4,000

Average Cost

$1,500

Symptoms of Burns and Scalds in Dogs

Symptoms to look for when your dog has a burn are:

  • Red or inflamed spot where burned
  • Moist or oozing patch of skin
  • Blackened, or leathery skin
  • Dry, cracked, or hard skin
  • Skin that has crusted
  • Skin ulcers
  • Painful skin
  • Blisters
  • Blotchy, red and white skin
  • Edema, or a buildup of fluid in the tissue that causes swelling
  • Singeing of hair
  • Dry, curled or brittle hair
  • Fur color change
  • Constant scratching accompanied by whimpers of pain
  • Avoidance of being touched
  • Fever, often concurrent with sunburns

Types

 

Scalds are burns from a hot liquid or steam. There are other various types of burns. They include:

  • Chemical burns, such as from acids; be aware that they can become worse if water is used on them
  • Thermal burns are caused by fire, hot water, or hot materials, such as heat lamps and water blankets
  • Electrical burns are from exposure to electricity, often through live wires
  • Radiation burns are from microwave or solar radiation
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Causes of Burns and Scalds in Dogs

There are many ways your dog could get a burn or scald.

  • Contact with hot engine parts, such as a muffler or catalytic converter
  • Contact with hot appliances, such as space heaters, ovens, grills, or hair dryers
  • Contact with objects that conduct heat, such as tools or hoses left in the sun
  • Electrocution, such as chewing on electrical cords
  • Contact with hot foods, liquids, or steam, such as during cooking, or spilled candle wax
  • Contact with fire, such as a house or barn fire
  • Contact with microwave radiation
  • Too much sun exposure
  • Contact with chemicals that burn

While any dog can get burned by accident, some dogs have a higher chance of sunburn, and possibly skin cancer. These include:

  • White dogs
  • Thin haired dogs
  • Hairless dogs
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Diagnosis of Burns and Scalds in Dogs

With burns, it is important to get your dog to a veterinarian immediately. Tell your veterinarian what had burned your dog if you know. If you don’t know, be sure to report things your dog may have been in contact with, as well as any symptoms he has exhibited. Burns will be examined and assessed. Factors such as the kind of burn, where the burn is, how much of your dog’s body is affected, and the depth of the burns will help to determine the course of treatment. 

The exposed skin of a burn can develop a bacterial infection, and severe burns can cause dehydration and renal failure. Your veterinarian may check to see if your dog is suffering from these conditions. If renal failure is suspected, your veterinarian may also order blood tests and a urinalysis to check kidney function.

If your dog was in direct contact with a fire, such as a barn or house fire, be on the lookout for signs of smoke inhalation, such as sneezing, gasping for air, or losing consciousness. Your veterinarian may use chest X-rays to assess any lung damage.

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Treatment of Burns and Scalds in Dogs

Treatments for burns in your dog will depend on the type of burn or scald, and the depth of the burn. If it isn’t a chemical burn, you can remove the burning material at home, such as food or wax that has spilled onto your dog. Any other treatment should be left to a veterinarian.

Generally, the protocol for less severe burns is to manage the wound, administer fluid therapy as needed, and give antibiotics. Anesthesia is generally given, as well as pain medication, such as opiates. Burns are then soaked in saline solution to remove any debris. Any dead skin is cut away, as it can harbor bacteria. Silvadene is applied to prevent infection, and the wounds are dressed. Bandages are changed daily. For more severe burns, an escharotomy will be performed, a surgery that can help restore blood flow to the damaged tissues.

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Recovery of Burns and Scalds in Dogs

If renal failure is present, your veterinarian will take appropriate measures to treat it.

Recovery of Burns and Scalds in Dogs

Healing time for a burn varies with the intensity of the burn, and can be anywhere from 2 weeks to over 4 weeks. Daily treatment of wound cleaning, applying topical medication and bandaging may be recommended.

There are many ways to prevent your dog from getting burned, such as keeping hot things away from your dog, keeping electrical cords and chemicals out of reach, and always setting a hair dryer to cool if using it on your dog.

Prevent a sunburn by not shaving your dog, avoid taking walks during the hottest part of the day, and use a pet friendly sunblock applied to the nose, ear tips, belly, groin, and any other exposed areas of skin.

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Burns and Scalds Average Cost

From 282 quotes ranging from $300 - $4,000

Average Cost

$1,500

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Burns and Scalds Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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Boston

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Two Years

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Unknown severity

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My dog got scalded 4/5 days ago now, I'm doctoring him at home,I'm doing what I've been told to do and hes doing ok,hes eating n drinking on his own,but I worry please any advice

yesterday

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. This is a chat platform, with text messages and we cannot call you. If he is having problems with the burns, he may need Veterinary Care. Burns can become complicated and infected if not treated, and he may need more care. I hope that he is doing okay. If he is eating and drinking and generally moving around well, he may be okay.

yesterday

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German Spitz

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Twelve years

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Unknown severity

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3 found helpful

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Unknown severity

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White And Starting To Develop Pus

My mom accidently spilled hot tea on his back and then his skin became white and the hairs on his back fell and a white circle with puss developed. Due to quarantine I am not able to take him to a doctor and for two days I am stuck in my house due to state curfew. Please help me to treat my dog at home

July 11, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Sara O. DVM

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3 Recommendations

Hello, So sorry to hear about your dog. YOu can try to clean this area with soap and water. After it dries, apply triple antibiotic ointment to the area. If this does not help, it would be best to see a vet for some oral antibiotics. I hope your dog starts to feel better soon.

July 11, 2020

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Blu

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Pit bull

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3 Years

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Moderate severity

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Redness
Licking
Shakes
Raw Nose
Licking, Shakes, Redness,

Early this morning, I noticed my dog pacing back and forth and avoiding contact. When I took a closer look, her nose and part of her mouth seems like it was burnt . The skin looks very raw and she continuously licks it but cliches every time she does. I assume she may have gotten burnt on our fire pit as we had a Fourth of July bbq yesterday. Not sure what to do. I tried putting Neosporin on it but she just licks it off. She in is a lot of pain. What should I do ?

July 5, 2018

Blu's Owner

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0 Recommendations

Without examining Blu I cannot confirm whether this is a burn or not, however these things do tend to happen around July 4th; you should bathe the area with a dilute antiseptic and apply Neosporin (place a cone on Blu to stop licking). However, you should also check in with your Veterinarian to be on the safe side. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

July 6, 2018

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Harley

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Peekapoo

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7 Months

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Moderate severity

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Moderate severity

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The glass container that I have been using for the past two years broke while making hot tea. The tea kettle had just finished boiling when I poured it. The contents fell onto my 7 month old poodle’s back. I immediately submerged her in cold water and took her straight to the vet. She was given a 10 day course of antibiotics and 1% silver sulfadiazine cream. I applied a thin coat last night and clipped the hair around the burned areas. The wounds appeared to be fine until this morning. Her hair is now completely gone, the skin is angry pink, but’s does not appear to be broken or oozing. She allowed me to touch the area with gloved hands and does not appear to be in any pain. It is a large area. She had a full coat of hair last night with no signs of hair loss. I am baffled. Tomorrow is her last dose of meds. She is still quite playful and doesn’t appear to be in any distress, but her skin looks....angry. She was also given a special burn shampoo. I have no idea what to do, as the vet is on vacation until Monday. Should I take her somewhere else? There is no signs off oozing or any smell.

July 4, 2018

Harley's Owner

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0 Recommendations

Hair loss and irritated skin are to be expected with severe scalds, it will take some time for the skin to calm after this event; it is great that there are no signs of discharge or oozing, but it may be a good idea to have Harley checked just to be on the safe side as I cannot give you any assurances without an examination first. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

July 5, 2018

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Bonnie

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Dachshund

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6 Years

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Moderate severity

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Moderate severity

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Hello, my dog had a heat stroke the last wednesday and he collapsed over the floor on my backyard (All my backyard is made of concrete, no roof and that day was very hot, it was around the 36-38 celsius grades), no one noticed him he was unconscious until we saw his tongue out of his mouth. We think he stayed like this 40 minutes over the concrete.After that, i immediately take him to the vet. The vet treated him well and he got "fine" but the next day he started to bite a lot his loin causing holes in the skin because of his bites. So, i had to take him again to the vet and he said : - Its the first time i saw a dog bitting himself like that because of sun burn scald. So he gave him and oral antibiotic and we putted an Elizabethan collar to prevent any bite from him and gave me an antiseptic to cure his open wounds(He also applied the antiseptic on the dog). His wounds were closed due the antiseptic and that relief me a lot. However, today one of the wounds was bleeding and also it smelled very bad, like rotten. Also my dog tried to lick him there in the wound but he cannot because of the colar. My vet is going to look him this Monday but i think it might help if someone could tell me a similiar situation or aid tip. Heres my email so i can reply and send it to my vet: oscjar18@outlook.com Thank you.

July 2, 2018

Bonnie's Owner

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0 Recommendations

Without examining Bonnie I cannot say for certain what is happening, however a foul smell may indicate a severe infection which is not being covered by the antiseptic or antibiotic; your Veterinarian will examine the area and determine if a change in treatment is required. For now, keep bathing the area with the antiseptic and continue with the antibiotics. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

July 2, 2018

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Lucy

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chihuahua mix

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3 Years

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Mild severity

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Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Redness
Lethargy
Licking
Oozing
Dragging Butt On Ground

Lucy has been dragging her butt on the ground for 2-3 days. I checked her this morning and found feces stuck to her tail and lower abdomen near the anus. I have her a bath and removed all of the fences, but found an oozing spot on her lower abdomen. I have applied antibiotic ointment and placed a dog diaper on her so she doesn’t lick the ointment off . She went to the vet yesterday and he didn’t even notice the feces! She doesn’t like anybody touching near her butt and she’s now just curled up. I can’t afford another visit to the vet. Help!

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Samson

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Labordor Retriever

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8 Years

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Mild severity

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pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Redness
Hair Loss
White Skin

I tripped on dog in kitchen and spilled boiling water on his back hind area. I immediately flushed with cold water and then put ice on the area. It has been 5 days and there is a white/pinkish skin color and as well as some redness. There is no oozing or blisters and it does not appear to be infected. I put topical Neosporin on the area but he licks it off. I have left the wound open. He does not seem to be affected, no pain, acting like his usual self. Does not appear to have a lot of pain, he will let me touch the area wtih a small amount of wincing, nothing significant. I love my dog and of course will do what ever I need to do. I am however unemployed and was trying to avoid expense of vet unless necessary.

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Maya

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German Shepherd

dog-age-icon

10 Weeks

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Mild severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Hair Loss

I was bathing my dog when she started screaming. I didn’t think anything of it at first because she usually does this when she is taking a bath. But this scream was louder and more expressed. My mom heard it and walked in. She quickly felt the water and declared it was too hot. I didn’t think so because it was a only a little bit warmer than all the other times. Still, we took her out and realized she lost some hair around her ears. We were so worried because none of us thought the water would cause her hair to fall out. We still don’t know if this was the cause of that.

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Snoke

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Rat Terrier

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10 Months

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Serious severity

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1 found helpful

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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Scabbing, Pain

Our dog was recently burnt with boiling water. He has seen his vet and is on pain medication and we're using silver sulfide cream. There are two areas where he lost hair. One has very dark red scabbing, the other has yellow scabbing. The yellow seems much less irritated and I worried about the red. Can anyone advise?

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Bella

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Pit bull

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2 Years

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Serious severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Pain

My female pit was playing w my little cousin in the kitchen she slam her body by the stove and a pot of boiling oil fell on her, Her fur fell off and scabs things were popping out and her skin looks really messed up. But she doesn’t have a shot record can I still take her in to the vet

Burns and Scalds Average Cost

From 282 quotes ranging from $300 - $4,000

Average Cost

$1,500

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