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Emergency Care


Thermal Burns

Thermal burns are injuries caused by contact with flames, hot objects, or hot liquids. The severity of thermal (heat) burns in cats may be underestimated because the appearance of burns in cats differs considerably from those in humans. The type of superficial burns in humans may not form in the burned skin of a cat.

If you pull on the hair in the area of a burn and it comes out easily, the burn is deeper and more serious.

Apply cold water or ice compresses for twenty minutes.

Dry gently and then apply an antibiotic such as topical ophthalmic (eye) ointment or one of the following home remedies:

  • Some “jelly” from the inside of the leaf of an aloe vera (“burn”) plant.
  • A wet dressing of Burrow’s solution made with water and Domebro tablets or powder, available at most pharmacies.

Cover the area with a clean dressing, held in place with a bandage. Check the bandage daily. If the burn becomes infected or doesn’t begin to heal within several days, see a veterinarian.

Extensive or deep burns need immediate veterinary care. Soak a clean cloth in cold water and apply very gently to the burned area. Keep the patient warm and monitor for signs of shock

Electrical Burns

Electrical burns are the most dangerous kind and are often fatal. Most often a kitten receives an electrical burn from chewing on electric cords.

These burns can cause severe damage to the skin of the mouth or on the tip of the tongue.

The burn itself is not nearly as life-threatening as the electrical shock that accompanies it. Do not try and treat the burn at home. The other complications are far more serious, so the cat should be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible.

A slower developing, treacherous complication is pulmonary edema. It is a build-up of excessive fluid in the lungs, which can appear an hour after the electric shock occurs, and if untreated, can be fatal.

The first priority is to treat the cat for shock.

If you find your cat unconscious and not breathing after electrical shock, administer artificial respiration and CPR .

Electrical burns are characteristically cold, bloodless, pale yellow, and painless.

Chemical burns

Covered under poisons.


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