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How to Treat Burns on Pets

When a pet burns themselves, damage to the surface or deeper layers of the skin can occur immediately. A typical burn is caused by dry heat, like a flame, corrosive chemicals, radiation, electricity or cold. A scald is caused by a moist heat, such as hot oil, wax or water.



You may not be present when your pet burns themselves, so look out for these common signs:

  • hair loss or the hair is easily plucked or falls out
  • red skin
  • a hot area of skin
  • swelling
  • moisture seepage
  • pain
  • ‘leathery’ look to the skin


First aid

  • Cool the area immediately with cool running water or a cool compress
  • Immerse the burn in or flush it with water
  • Apply a moist, cool compress to the affected area after the initial treatment
  • Keep the pet warm by wrapping it in a blanket
  • Transport your pet to a vet
  • In the case of a chemical burn, bring the packet of toxin with you so the vet can identify the active ingredient, additionally:
    • do not allow your pet to lick the area
    • do not rub the burnt area
    • follow basic first aid guidelines for burns
  • In the case of an electrical burn, always ensure the electricity has been turned off before touching your pet. It is best to do this at the mains power switch.


Once you have applied first aid, it´s best to take your pet to your local vet or emergency hospital immediately.


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Animal Referral & Emergency network is the largest specialty and referral network in Australia, consisting of over 20 sites. With over 1,200 dedicated team members, including over 600 nurses and over 390 veterinarians (including specialists and registrars), we provide exceptional care for your pets. Count on us for expert medical attention and comprehensive veterinary services.