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Dog Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook


Burns are caused by heat, chemicals, electric shocks and radiation. Sunburn is an example of radiation burn. It occurs on the nose of dogs with insufficient pigment (see NOSE: Collie Nose), and on the skin of white-coated dogs who are clipped close in summer.

Skin damage depends upon the length and intensity of exposure. With a superficial burn, you will see redness in the skin, sometimes blisters and perhaps slight swelling. The burn will be tender. With deep burns, the skin will appear white, the hair will come out easily when pulled and pain will be severe. If more than 15 percent of the body surface is involved in a deep burn, the outlook is poor. In such cases fluid seeps from the damaged area. This can lead to shock.

Treatment: For small burns, apply cold water soaks or ice packs for 20 minutes to relieve pain. Clip away hair and wash gently with a surgical soap. Blot dry. Apply a topical antibiotic ointment (Furacin, Neosporin). Neosporin can be purchased over the counter without a prescription. Protect the area from rubbing by applying a loose-fitting gauze dressing.

Treat chemical burns by flushing them with copious amounts of water.

Acid on the skin is neutralized by rinsing with baking soda (four tablespoons to

a pint of water). Alkali is neutralized by rinsing with a weak vinegar solution

(two tablespoons to a pint of water). Blot dry and apply antibiotic ointment.

Bandage loosely.


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