Hope is the last thing to die; therefore, no matter how bad our situation is, as long as you have a flicker of hope, you can turn anything around for the better. While this may only seem to be an inspirational message for people undergoing tough times, even animals need to be encouraged when their future looks bleak. Therefore after being rescued from a burning house, a local dog is a finalist in a national contest, and through your help, she might be named the winner. Let’s tell you more about how Aya’s life was saved and what you can do if you ever have a dog suffering from thermal burns.
Strong will to live
Aya was only two months old when the house she lived in with her humans caught fire. Asheville firefighters went to the rescue, and Aya’s tail was seen wagging under a pile of clothes. Unfortunately, she had been burnt so much that 75% of her body was covered in thermal burns. The family was not keen on seeking medical attention for the dog, so it took the firefighters to convince them of the urgency. Consequently, Aya was taken to the ER, but the family perhaps not wanting to be bothered by the medical cost, abandoned her in the hospital. Fortunately, despite the world being cruel to her, Aya had a strong will to live and soldiered on, with the help of kind-hearted people.
With no one to look after her, Aya found herself being taken in by the Asheville Humane Society, which sought treatment for the pup at the Animal Hospital of North Asheville. For three months, Aya underwent intensive treatment for the burns and repetitive surgeries to regrow the skin. Still, the scars on her body and lack of two toes she lost due to the fire were not repulsive to one woman who saw beyond the physical appearance. Dorothy Williams could not resist the dog’s charming personality, thus adopted her, and she is glad that Aya brightens up her days by keeping the family on their toes.
Since Aya has already made a positive impact on Dorothy, she signed the dog up for the Pibborafi Rescue Hero Contest to help people know they can have a beautiful life regardless of the challenges faced. As Dorothy said, second chances are amazing, and she felt it was only right for the community to support her. Aya beat other competitors to become one of the finalists, and if she wins, a plushie toy will be made in her likeness. Once the toys are sold, the proceeds will be taken to The Asheville Human Society to help other rescue dogs. Dorothy did her best to appeal to the public to vote for Aya, but now that voting has been closed, she can only wait and see if Aya emerges as the winner.
Types of burns
You might have heard of a nurse saying that the patient suffered third-degree burns; even animals get varying degrees of burns, the least severe one being the first-degree burn. It is only superficial but still accompanied by pain and redness. Fortunately, it only takes about three weeks to heal since new cells will grow and cover up the burned area. However, if your dog gets second-degree burns, brace yourself for a few months of medical care. Such burns go deeper than the superficial layer to cause swelling of the tissue, and as the burns heal, the wound must be monitored to avoid infections and trauma.
Third-degree burns destroy the skin structure completely, but strangely enough, they do not cause as much pain as the first and second-degree burn because the nerves are completely damaged. However, since the tissues are also severely burned, healing takes much longer, and surgery may be required. Similar to second-degree burns, third-degree burns also need protection from infection. Finally, fourth-degree burns go beyond destroying the entire skin structure and get to the muscle and bone. Surgery is necessary for reconstruction, and it takes several months of healing and maybe several surgical procedures for a dog to fully recover.
Causes of thermal burns in dogs
In the case of Aya, a fire was the cause of her burns, but in some instances, we usually are trying to save a dog’s life only to end up making it worse. For example, as published by Pub Med, four dogs were under anesthesia when they suffered thermal burns. They were being treated for hypothermia; hence latex gloves filled with warm water were put on their skin. Unfortunately, the gloves came into contact with the hairless parts of the skin, resulting in burns.
In other instances, we are usually trying to keep the dog warm after a bath only to find out that the hairdryer we are using is burning the dog. Alternatively, a dog could be in a rush to eat the freshly baked treats straight out of the oven; therefore, his counter surfing skills lead to him burning his mouth. Radiation could also cause different types of burns ranging from first degree burns to third-degree burns. Other objects that may result in thermal burns include hot lamps, hot metal, hot liquids, and heating lamps. Therefore, it is up to us to prevent our furry friends from gaining access to anything potentially hazardous.
First aid for thermal burns in dogs
Although some sources cite different treatment methods of various types of burns, the American Kennel Club advises an overall approach for all types of thermal burns. Just like we treat burns in humans by immediately putting the burnt area in cold water, even in dogs, the affected part should also be immersed in cool water or a saline solution. Alternatively, you can spray the burnt area with either of the two. Although you should aim to take the dog to the nearest veterinarian, sometimes, it is impossible hence you have to take matters in your hands. Clipping the hair on the affected part is recommended. You can then clean it with a saline solution made from purified water and salt. After applying a silver sulfadiazine ointment, you should cover the area with a sterile and dry bandage as you still seek for medical attention.