Burns and Scalds Average Cost

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Average Cost


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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.

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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


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

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

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.

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.

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.

Burns and Scalds Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

1 Year
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Yellow Crust Buildup
White bump

My one and a half year ago chihuahua was accidentally burned by a cigarette about a week ago. We noticed today there is a white bump and on onesside of it is atthick cluster of yellow dried pus like scab.
Is that an infection?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1103 Recommendations
If Sassi was burned by a cigarette, it is quite possible that the wound has become infected. It would be a good idea to have her seen by a veterinarian to determine what is going on and what therapy she may need to recover from this.

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Shih Tzu
7 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Hi! My dog got burned by hot cooking oil while I was cooking. The burn is about 1” by 1/2”. It has dried for a bit now but she keeps licking it. I bathed her right after the incident with cold water but haven’t put anything (oils, ointments, etc) on her since. What should I do? Thank you!

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2520 Recommendations
You should use a very little bit of dishwashing soap to remove any oil as the soap will breakdown any remaining oil; you should run the area under cold water and bathe any wound with a dilute antiseptic. Some burns are severe and may become infected, topical products like Neosporin and systemic antibiotics may be indicated. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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pit bull terrier
13 Weeks
Fair condition
1 found helpful
Fair condition

Candle wax fell on my puppy and she has dark fur so I can't tell if the skin is burnt she is acting fine and playing and eating let's me touch the spot as I keep trying to rub it down with coconut oil to get the wax out which superficially it is but down by the roots is a lot left what should I do

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2520 Recommendations
There are lots of methods people have tried to remove wax from a dog’s hair and skin many of which are dangerous and cause more problems than they solve; I always prefer to hold ice on candle wax so it really hardens and then break it off - I used pliers to practically shatter the wax off (just make sure that the skin isn’t getting caught). Once the wax is off, cut the hair short around any wound and bathe as required with a dilute antiseptic. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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White Labrador
4 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Tender skin

Medication Used


Could this effect her body and her actions? What is wrong with the skin between her legs. Red render and ozzing pus almost. Its clear with white and sometimes she licks it

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2520 Recommendations

Was Malibu burned or scalded or has the skin between her legs turned red? Red, tender and sensitive skin may be attributable to chemical irritation, allergies, excessive licking, insect bites among other causes; I usually ask people if they have changed any laundry detergents or other cleaning products recently as I’ve found this is a common cause, regardless if you are noticing oozing of pus you should visit your Veterinarian for an examination and a course of antibiotics. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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