Little Miss Pancake squeezed her way in with one of our recent trips to ACC (Animal Care & Control). She's a puggle and her little body was covered in chemical burns. We couldn't pass up this sweet pup that needed extra attention to treat her open wounds.
Puggles were bred quite rapidly a few years back, but with the decrease in interest in that mix breed, many are abandoned or dropped off at the pound. Pancake has a lost history, not sure if it was by accident, trying to get rid of extra puppies, a bad owner, or misguided people that found her, either way- she came with chemical burns over her back and some on her head. The chemicals had burned their way through her fur and past her skin.
There isn't much information about chemical burns/ how to treat/ dogs. Probably because the large majority of the world would never think to do such a thing to an innocent animal, however, most articles say to wash thoroughly with water to dilute the chemical and see the vet immediately.
We talked with Gordon's forever parents about chemical burns for further help. Gordon came from One Tail at a Time Rescue in Chicago. When he first arrived, he had chemical burns covering the majority of his little pit bull body. He walks with many of our alums and adoptable dogs with Chicago Sociabulls on Sundays. Gordon's parents were incredibly helpful when talking about things they do to help Gordon and some of the tips they have learned.
They use lotion to help with cracking and overall flexibility of the tender skin. Gordon's hair (like Pancake) will not grow back in some places, so the exposed skin needs to be treated just like human skin. It gets dry in the winter and they use Aquaphor on his back. It's a bit of a thicker lotion and can be found almost anywhere, Walgreens, Target, etc. For a lighter lotion, they use Eucerin for sensitive skin. After applying lotions, put a tshirt on the dog to avoid rubbing off on furniture, etc.
Gordon's forever parents use tshirts a lot. This helps with sun exposure as well as making sure he doesn't scratch or rub to vigerously inside his crate. Since his wounds have healed a lot, they use the tshirts less, however, he is in one whenever they are gone while in his crate. They also recommend kids tshirts which are less expensive than dog tshirts and still fit.
During the summer months or when there will be high exposure to the sun, they apply sunscreen. And the vet suggested giving Gordon fish oil pills because they improve the skin/coat.
Pancake will make a full recovery from the burns but her future owners will need to apply sunscreen during the summer and it would be helpful to have a humidifier during the colder months. Just like with a human with exposed sensitive skin, they need to be on the look out for cracks in the skin and bleeding which can be treated with ointment as mentioned above.
Pancake also has a bit of a trick knee. The medical term is a luxating patella. It can pop out and may need help putting it back into place. It can require surgery, however, she's not at that stage yet. With careful play, minimal stairs and joint supplements, she may never need surgery.
Thanks to Lydia, our Medical Director for input and explanations. Also a big thanks to Gordon's forever parents for all the information and helpful suggestions!