Animals with burns..
If your pet is accidentally scalded by hot water or is burnt in any way do not assume everything is okay just because you can’t see evidence of a burn.
There are three different degrees of a burn varying in seriousness and pain.
1st Degree: Top layer of skin affected. It is sore and skin appears red. This could be likened to sunburn and possible to occur in animals with white fur, especially on their ears where the skin is thinner. Continued sunburn can lead to skin cancer.
2nd Degree: Deeper layers of skin affected. This will be painful, blisters will form and there is a risk of infection. These burns need veterinary attention and careful management until healed.
3rd Degree: All skin layers are affected including the nerve endings meaning there will be no pain and the risk of infection is high. These burns are serious and If the burns cover over 25% of the animals’ body all body systems can be affected and specialist care is required. If 50% of the body is affected it is highly likely to be fatal.
Quite often curious kittens will investigate a bath and fall in, if the water is too hot this can be a serious problem, even if it is just a small part of the body. Another scenario is a dog knocking into you while carrying a kettle or saucepan full of hot water. Of course, other types of burns are possible, all will require veterinary attention.
Other types of burns include:
* Hot air.
* Ice burn after direct contact with skin.
* Radiation (From therapy).
First aid for any type of burn is to remove the source...If electrical the power source must be turned off and contact via something that does not conduct electricity...Like a wooden broom handle.
The next thing to do is to flush, flush flush the area with luke warm (not cold) water. You can submerge the animal in the water or use a jug to pour water over the affected area, not easy especially in the case of cats but do the best you can. Move the fur around to ensure the water actually comes into contact with the skin.
Do not place any creams or butter on the affected area.
In extreme burns where the skin has been broken the risk of infection is very high. To prevent contamination during the journey to the veterinary surgery cling film can be wrapped over it but this may also move fur into an open wound so it may be best not to do this. If your pet is accidentally scalded by hot water or is burnt in any way do not assume everything is okay just because you can’t see evidence of a burn. Burns can take a while (1-2 days) for the real damage to be seen so seek veterinary attention in the case of all burns. They will be painful and the risk of an infection is too high to think that the animal will be okay. We all know how painful sunburn is, not to mention boiling water, there is no evidence to suggest animals do not feel pain from burns and it is our responsibility as owners to make sure they receive the veterinary care they need.