First Aid for a Dog Burns

Medically Treat Any Burn on Your Dog to Avoid Infection

Due to the potential for secondary infection and other harmful complications, all burns should be taken seriously.

Burns from fire, smoldering materials, hot water, grease, tar, and smoke are among the most painful of injuries. (Burns can also stem from electrical sources—as in when a puppy chews wires—and from chemical sources such as acids and alkalis.)

Initially, it may be difficult to tell how much of the skin is involved in the burn. However, singed skin and burned hair may be evident.

Burns should be treated immediately with immersion in cool water or saline (salt and purified water) or spraying the affected area with cool water or saline. Obtain veterinary care quickly. If you are unable to get to a local emergency hospital, clip the hair off the area, clean it with saline, and apply silver sulfadiazine ointment, which you should have in your canine first-aid kit. Cover the area with sterile, dry dressings and seek veterinary care.

Burn treatment can be complicated and prolonged and involve administration of pain medications, use of antibiotics to prevent secondary infection, frequent dressing changes, surgery such as debridement or skin grafts, and management of shock. Your veterinarian will provide tremendous direction and guidance in the management of burns.