3 steps to cure a burn in dog or cat


If you have a dog, you are probably interested in this Animal Expert article where we will discuss a first aid issue, cure burns in dogs.

Do you know that dogs can burn and not only with fire? Do you know what types of burns they can suffer? Or how to cure them? And, above all, how to prevent them?

We hope you never need to act as we will explain below due to a burn in your pet, but if so, we want to be helpful.

What is a burn?

The burns areskin lesions of an animal due to the action of some type of agent that may have produced them such as heat, radiation, chemicals, electricity or even cold. These injuries are created by the total dehydration of the skin layers which come off. It is a very painful injury and the consequences of a burn not treated properly can pass through infection until the death of the animal. Therefore, if our dog burns in any way, it is very important to remain calm and act effectively, preventing the burn from spreading and increasing its severity.

We can classify burns into different types according to their cause:

  • Scalds: When they are injuries caused by hot or boiling liquids.
  • Corrosions: If they are produced by corrosive chemicals.
  • Electric burns: If they are produced by electricity.
  • Radionecrosis or radiation burns: If they are produced by ionizing radiation, such as X-rays or gamma rays from the sun.
  • Freezes: If they are produced by excess cold.
  • Burns by fire or contact with hot material: When contact is made with hot metal surfaces or directly with flame or fire.

In addition, burn injuries differ and graduate according to the amount of body surface burned and their depth. The degrees of burns are:

  1. First grade: First degree burns are the mildest, most superficial and usually heal well in a week or so. They are easy to treat and their symptoms are redness of the skin, a feeling of swelling and burning and lack of fur in the affected area. They are the only burns that we can really heal at home without great concern, the rest of the degrees require urgent veterinary attention.
  2. Second grade: These burns are deeper and more painful than those of the first degree. In addition to the symptoms that occur in first degree burns, in the second degree we find blisters with fluid. They usually take about three weeks to heal and are relatively easy to cure.
  3. Third degree: Third-degree burns are one of the deepest, most painful, most difficult to cure and even fatal depending on the amount of surface affected and the area. In this case the skin burns completely and the burn reaches the body fat layer. The skin looks dry, scorched and hardened, since it has completely dehydrated. There may be reddened skin around which will be very painful since the nerve endings are still active, but the center of the burn will be blackened and in fact it will not be painful since the nerve endings have been destroyed. The treatment and healing are long and difficult.
  4. Fourth grade: This degree is the deepest, since the burn reaches the muscle, including the bone and internal organs. Carbonization and necrosis of the skin, body fat layer, muscles and bones occur. Obviously, as it is worse than the third degree burn, it is more complicated to treat, being able to give unconsciousness due to pain and even death, depending on the amount of surface and area affected. Treatment and scarring are expensive and deformations may occur.

In the case of any burn, but especially in the case of the most severe, there is risk of shock and infection. The shock caused by burns occurs because an injury of this type causes the outflow of blood circulation, the transcutaneous loss of energy in the form of heat and significant loss of water, in addition to the infection and all this produces what is called burn syndrome or shock that occurs with severe disturbances of metabolic balance and cardiovascular, pulmonary, hepatic and renal functions. When an animal enters this state its chances are very slim.

In addition, the most common degrees of burns in dogs and cats are the first and second, but in the case of dogs, if the body meets an area of ​​30% with second-degree burns or 50% with burns Third or fourth grade, there is very little hope that I can overcome this unfortunate experience going through a lot of pain, so at this point, the euthanasia of the animal is often contemplated thus avoiding days of suffering that will end in the same way.

Puppies are among the most likely to suffer burns, since they are very active and curious. Many times we find them entangling anywhere, nibbling electrical wires and cans of cleaning products that may contain corrosive agents that cause a burn.

Causes of burns in dogs

As we have seen before, there are several ways for a dog to burn. Next we are going to discuss the main causes, what happens and some symptoms: · Boiling liquids: Sometimes while we cook our dog likes to keep us company waiting for something delicious to fall into his mouth. If you eat something that has come straight out of the pan, it is most likely that your mouth will be scalded, but with plenty of water, it is most likely to pass quickly. In addition, we can stumble upon him or he can enter the kitchen fires area attracted by the smell of food and thus there is a spill of water, oil, broth, milk or other boiling liquids on our partner, oil being the most serious case among these.

Prolonged sun exposure

It produces sunburn, also called radiation burns. Many dogs love the heat and spend hours in the sun lying down, running around, playing, sleeping or doing any activity. As in people, excessive sun can cause burns, long-term skin damage and even skin cancer in dogs. Special care must be taken with light-skinned dogs such as Bull Terriers, Dalmatians and Samoyedos. We must also bear in mind that the denser the fur and the longer, the more protected they will be from the sun. So those with white or pink skin and short hair are more prone to sunburn. Because they are areas with less hair, the most affected areas are the snout, the tips of the ears and the belly. Dogs of breeds are also more prone to these burns in the snout than the slightly pigmented and pink snout and nose, such as Border Collies. In fact, those that are perhaps more prone to skin problems and sunburn are dogs that have a naked or half-naked body, that is, they do not have or barely have fur, such as the Peruvian Hairless Dog or the Chinese Crested Finally, dogs with recent scars and therefore no hair in this area of ​​new and weak skin, also have great ease to burn with the sun.

Bonfire embers

Sometimes we go camping and when the fire goes out there are still hot coals with which our dog can accidentally burn his legs. Surely it is a slight first degree burn since the reaction of the dog will be to move the legs away quickly. We must remove the animal from the area and immediately cool the legs with plenty of cold water and wait for it to calm down. Surely your skin will have become flushed and shiny.

Fireplace or fireplace fire

When we light the fireplace in winter or make a fire outside to warm up, our pets also like to approach the color next to us. So much that sometimes they do not realize if they are too close to the area where sparks can fall. Besides, if it is a puppy, it may be curious enough and unaware of the danger to get too close to the fire directly and end up burning.

Electric cable nibbling

In this case electrocution and burn occur through the mouth. Depending on the amount of electricity discharged into the animal, the burn will be more or less severe, the most worrying being the loss of a good part of the snout by third degree burns or internal burns difficult to detect. In addition there will be breathing difficulties, lightheadedness and even unconsciousness.

Cleaning products with corrosives and caustic chemicals

Sometimes we can spill a chemical at home that we use for cleaning or other household chores. If our pet comes into contact with these liquids or dusts and burns, the severity of the burn will depend entirely on the amount of substance that falls into the animal or this ingested, the type of substance and the time that this substance remains in contact with your organism We must think that the puppies are very curious and if they are getting their teeth they nibble on everything including the jars of cleaning products.

Most common austs of burns in dogs and cats

Lpets may suffer burns for various reasons. The most common are:

  • Oil or water boiling accidentally in the kitchen.
  • Having excessive sun exposure in surgical wounds.
  • For walking on the embers of a bonfire.
  • By electrocution.
  • By contact with certain chemicals.
Source: Arizona Humane Society / Facebook

Keep in mind that, as with humans, burns in domestic dogs and cats are classified in first, second and third grade, according to the size and depth of the lesion. And, it goes without saying that the faster the animal is assisted, the greater the chances of a speedy and full recovery.

It is important that you know how to cure a burn in pets. Providing your pet these first aid before taking it to the veterinarian will undoubtedly contribute to a better and speedy recovery.

Asphalt or soil too hot

Sometimes we walk our dog in the highest hours of sun without thinking that the ground is burning. We are not very aware of this because we are wearing shoes, but our pets go directly with the pads, which can burn against asphalt, stone or dirt that is too scorching. We will see that our dog looks for the shadow, does not want to step on areas with sun, does not want to move from the shadow and will refuse to walk, will complain and walk very quickly desperate to leave that area with too much direct sun from the street. Your pads will have become flushed and bright, as well as very hot.

First step to cure a burn: temperature and cleaning

The first step to cure a burn indogs or cats is to immediately lower the temperature of the affected area and proceed to sanitize it. What is the correct way to do it?

You must apply a lot of cold water on the burned skin. You can use a clean and moistened gauze to do it. But don't even think about rubbing the burn. You should wet the wound very gently. This way you will be able to remove the dead skin and also the remains of the substance that caused the injury.

Neither, Under no circumstances, use ice. The only thing to getaceis to aggravate the situation because of extreme cold.

Second step: disinfect the burn

Once the burn was properly cleaned, you have toapply an ointment or ointment with antibiotic with the aim of preventing an infection from occurring. In this way we also contribute to the necessary hydration of burned skin.

If you do not have this type of element in your home, you can replace it with a little honey, which is a natural product with great antiseptic properties.

To get the ointment or honey to cover the burn well, it is convenient that, with extreme care, you trim the hair of your pet that covers and surrounds the affected area.


When we have too much time outside when it is winter or when we go hiking in the snow, our furry companion runs the risk of freezing some of its parts. These parts most prone to freezing are the most extreme parts of the body such as the ears, the nose, the tail, the legs and, above all, the pads since they are in direct contact with the snow constantly. We will see that the dog complains when he walks, his pads have become very red and his skin is bright and extremely cold.

Third step: bandage the wound and go to the vet

With the purpose of preventing an infection, because of mosquitoes or other insectos, you must proceed to bandage the burn. Be sure to use a clean gauze and cover gently and without pressing the affected skin of your furry friend. It is also convenient that you put an Elizabethan collar on your pet to make sure the bandage is not removed or the wound is licked.

Once these first aid is finished, it is time to take the animal to the veterinarian to determine the steps to follow, even when you think the burn is not serious.

Let the doctor evaluate if you should better disinfect the affected area or remove more dead skin and proceed to a specific treatment. Or you may determine that the first aid you provided to your pussy or your dog was sufficient and will only give you instructions on how to treat the burn in your home until its definitive cure.

How to prevent your pet from getting burns

Anyway, As prevention is always better than cure a burn, the ideal is to try to avoidthat pets suffer este and other types of domestic accidents. That is why it is convenient that:

  • Keep your pet away from the kitchen when you are cooking.
  • Send the wires in sight.
  • Take care that your dog or your cat does not expose itself to the sun too much time, especially if it has a wound in the process of healing.

And keep in mind that eThese cares should be extreme if your dog or cat is still a puppy.

How to act on a burn in our dog, treat and cure it

Of course prevention is always more effective and preferable than regretting and having to treat. But, knowing how to act on a burn in our pet is essential to provide the first aid you need and avoid possible undesirable consequences such as infection, shock and even death.

Next we will comment some steps to follow for treat all types of burns in our dogs:

  1. Lower skin temperature: We will bathe the affected area or the whole dog with cold and abundant water. In case of freeze burn, for example on the pads and legs, we must do the opposite and raise the temperature. First we will remove the dog from the cold zone and take it to a hot zone. We will wrap your legs with rags soaked in hot water which we will remove and wet again each time they cool or dry. We must change the temperature gradually to avoid shocks.
  2. Remove waste: With the same cold water bath, if we observe that there are remains of the product that has caused the burn in our dog, we must gently remove them. We will also do it with traces of scorched skin that is not attached. In principle with the abundant water these residues will go away alone but if we see that they persist, very gently with the fingers we can touch the surface to help their elimination.
  3. Contact the veterinarian: If this can be done between two people better since, while one bathes the dog the other can call the emergency veterinarian. It will help us calm down and will not organize depending on the origin of the burn, the area and the severity, what to do or not before taking it to your veterinary consultation or before it arrives at our house.
  4. Healing, antibiotic or moisturizing cream: If the veterinarian does not tell us otherwise we can, after a good cleaning of the area, administer a thin layer of moisturizer, antibiotic or healing cream so that it begins to calm and heal the burn, in addition to being protected from the air and possible contamination. It is very important that we do not apply any commercial moisturizer with alcohols and aromas, since they could make our dog's burn worse.
  5. Aloe vera: If we do not have healing cream on hand, we may have aloe vera either in a natural preparation or in our garden. We will split a branch and extract the gel and with our fingers gently apply it on the burn of our faithful companion.
  6. Cover with sterile gauze: Again if the veterinarian does not indicate otherwise, it is prudent to cover the burned area with a sterile wet gauze and without pressing it. In this way we will avoid possible environmental contamination of the wound, such as those caused by insects that like to hover around wounds.
  7. At the vet: Once the veterinarian has arrived or we have been able to go to your consultation, he must make an exhaustive review of the animal in general and its burn. So you can offer the most appropriate treatment according to the type of burn we have to treat. Surely, part of the treatment is the administration of analgesics due to the pain caused by the burns. Depending on the severity of the burn, fluids will be administered intravenously for rehydration of the dog. We must put an Elizabethan collar on the dog to avoid licking or scratching the burn wounds.
  8. Severe burns: If at first glance we can already detect that the burn is serious, we will only apply the cold water bath preferably without moving the animal from the place. Then we will call the vet, because with creams and gauze we will not get anything. In this case it is very important to be quick and let the veterinarian do everything possible and help us.

Important to consider when treating a burn in a dog:

    Electrocutions: We must turn off the fast electric current>

Tips on how to prevent burns

Let's comment what can we do to prevent any of these burns that we have described previously. All indications should be applied to any dog ​​of any breed and age, but we must be more persevering in puppies because they are still unaware of the dangers, are highly curious and are weaker than an adult.

    We must always remove them from the kitchen when we have the fire going and liquid>

This article is purely informative, at we have no power to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any kind of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian in case he presents any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Heal burns in dogs, we recommend that you enter our First Aid section.

How to cure burns in dogs

If the burn is superficial, the first thing we have to do is apply plenty of cold water over the area, either directly or moistening a clean gauze. If you opt for the latter, do not rub, apply soft taps. Nor can you place ice on the burn, since it would be injured more due to the cold.

Once the area is very wet, we will proceed to apply an antibiotic or honey ointment To avoid infections. If necessary, you can trim the hair of the area to make it easier for you. Then you have to bandage the area. The bandage has to be renewed every day, and it is also important to clean the wound with water daily. To prevent it from being removed, You can put an Elizabethan necklace on it.

In cases of severe burns, you have to go immediately to the veterinarian.

With these tips your dog will recover sooner than you imagine 🙂.

Burns in dogs and cats: common causes

The fall of oil or boiling water, sun exposure in surgical wounds, sunburn on the soles of the legs with the embers of a bonfire or electrocutions are some of the causes of burns in the dog and cat.

Puppies are the most susceptible to suffer this type of dermatological lesions that, depending on their length and depth, can be more or less serious.

Burns in dogs and cats are dangerous, cause dehydration and skin loss

The animal's burn is a skin lesion that is characterized by inflammation caused by exposure of the skin to high temperatures. The time the heat is in contact with the area influences, decisively, that the burn is more or less serious.

The action of the owner to address the injury of the dog or cat when it occurs is key to minimize its consequences. The steps to take after the burn occurs are the following:

1. Burns in dogs and cats, lower the temperature

The cold water in the area of ​​burned skin of the dog or cat manages to lower the temperature quickly and clean the remains of dead skin, as well as the substance that has caused the burn (oil, soup). According to Imanol Sagarzazu, veterinarian and dermatologist, "reducing the temperature of burned skin immediately is essential at first to stop injuries that can be caused by heat."

Burns in dogs and cats should be avoided with prevention in the domestic environment, especially in the kitchen

The application of ice in the burn is not recommended, since it also produces a burn due to the effect of extreme cold on the skin of the animal. The most advisable is cold water, which lowers the temperature of the affected area and removes dirt.

An antibiotic ointment on the burned skin of the dog or cat prevents possible infections in the affected area.

2. Cover the dog or cat's burn

Once the burn has been cleaned with cold water and a moisturizing ointment or an antibiotic ointment has been applied, the lesion can be covered with gauze, but without applying pressure.

A dog or cat suffering from burns may have different symptoms, depending on their degree of involvement. Fever, redness of the skin, blisters, loss of tissue and dehydration are some of the consequences of burns in the dog or cat.

These skin lesions it may take three to 15 days to cure, according to its severity.

3. Dog and cat burns, veterinary care

The burns are very painful for the dog or cat because there are many nerve endings on the skin and the veterinarian can sedate the animal to avoid suffering, while cleaning and treating the affected area.

The doctor treatment to cure the burn consists of moisturizing the burned area with serum, applying an antibiotic ointment, protecting the area with gauze and calming the pain of the dog or cat with morphine.

In the most severe cases, surgery must be used to remove the remains of dead tissue and perform a skin graft.

Prevention of dog and cat burns at home

Dogs and cats run various risks of burns at home, especially in the kitchen. Anyone can be spilled at any given time with milk, water, oil or boiling soup: if the animal is nearby it can be burned.

Dogs and cats like to sniff what is cooked in the kitchen and wait for someone to offer them some food. But we must try to keep them away from the kitchen when the fire is on, especially if they are puppies.

With the burns of dogs and cats in the kitchen prevention is better than cure. A dog or cat that is burned to a large part of his body by a very hot liquid may suffer third degree burns and get to die.

The degrees of the burns are established according to the level of depth in which the skin is affected. Lesions of this type of first degree affect the outermost layer of tissue (epidermis) and are the least serious. The second grade reach the dermis and the third grade can reach the muscles.

Outside the domestic environment, another place where burns usually occur and where, therefore, it is necessary to prevent it is during the country breaks, in particular with the embers of the fires.

In addition, "electrocutions are dangerous because they can cause internal burns, difficult to detect but serious because they can affect internal organs," says Sagarzazu.

The cables must be camouflaged and out of reach of the pet, especially if it is a puppy.

Burns in surgical wounds are also common among dogs and cats. By removing hair from the area where surgery is performed, it is unprotected against sunburn in summer. Therefore, it is advisable to prevent them with the application on the scar of a cream with sunscreen in summer until the lesion is again covered with hair.

Dog or cat burns: four keys

The skin is the largest organ of the body in dogs and cats. It is measured by square meters. So a thirty kilogram dog can have a square meter of honey.

Burns are one of the injuries that produces more pain, so morphine is essential in the treatment of the most serious cases.

One of the consequences caused by burns is a great dehydration of the affected area. The high degree of heat evaporates the water from the burned skin.

The skin affected by a burn breaks off and falls because the blood vessels in the area are destroyed.