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First aid for burns

photo of rabbits, cat and dog

Overview

  • Burns are extremely painful, can get easily infected and leave scars.
  • If your pet has been burnt give first aid and call your vet.
  • Always contact your vet no matter what size your pet’s burn is.

What to do if your pet gets burnt

  1. Take your pet away from whatever is burning them, if it’s chemical, wash it off with water.
  2. Check for any other injuries or symptoms (such as difficulty breathing).
  3. Do not apply creams or ointments to the burn.
  4. Cool any burnt skin with cool water for at least 10-20 minutes:
    • Never use ice or iced water
    • Use either running water or place the burnt skin in water
    • Be careful not to make your pet too cold, keep them warm with a blanket (but don’t let it touch any burnt areas).
  5. Place cling film (very loosely and gently) over the burn if you think your pet may get their wound dirty on the way to your vets.
  6. Call your vet for an emergency appointment.
  7. Your vet will assess the severity of the burns and use specialist dressings to treat them. They may also need to give your pet other treatments such as antibiotics, drips and pain relief.
  8. Always call your vet if your pet has been burnt, no matter what the size.
Published: March 2020

PetWise Pet Health Hub – brought to you thanks to support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery 

Written by vets and vet nurses. This advice is for UK pets only.

Illustrations by Samantha Elmhurst