Remedies for burns on dogs?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by svengandhi, May 31, 2014.

  1. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    A week ago, H decided to let the fire in the fire pit bank. Two days later, he let the dogs into the yard alone. Our 14 year old border collie, who's been having trouble walking, stepped into the fire pit and fell over into it. My baby mini Maltese's shrieks brought babyboy running and he pulled the older dog out. She sustained third degree burns on 2 paws and less severe burns on the other two. Her fur was singed but, thankfully, H had not yet shaved her for the summer or her skin would have been destroyed. The vet says that the dog is arthritic and has cataracts. I am arthritic and have cataracts, too, and I'm not about to put a dog down for what I also have. However, the poor thing is suffering. Her paws have to be debrided daily which H and daughter are doing, she is on opioid medications and antibiotics. Her paws are wrapped and she has to wear a cone head because she tries to lick the wounds. We have to keep her inside so flies don't get into the wounds. She can barely stand and has to be carried in and out to do her business. I am so not a dog person but this dog has been with my kids since she was 8 weeks old and I can't bear to see her and them suffering. I even told H he could put her on the floor in our room and I have never allowed a dog in my room. H is wracked by guilt as well (more guilt than he felt when I caught him cheating on me, for whatever that's worth!).

    I was wondering if there was anything else anyone can suggest to ease her pain. It's actually very sad to see this beautiful dog suffering. She's a border collie and extremely intelligent; her eyes show her pain and confusion. difficult child and I spoke today about how we think the dog might not survive the summer.

  2. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Have you asked the vet for pain medications for her?
  3. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    what is life expectancy on border coollie? tell vet to dope her up or honestly consider letting her sit in GOD'S lap and wait for you. there comes a point where quality of life becomes an issue... I love my little furbutts every last one of them but there comes a point where you can't help them anymore. I will pray for you all

  4. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    She is on pain medications. Some opioid like doggy Demerol is being given to her regularly. She isn't whimpering or crying in pain but her complete silence is equally sad. Her life expectancy is not really known, it could be another 2 years. I don't think she is ready to go to G-d yet. Apparently, as I said before, she was in decent shape before hand, with only arthritis and cataracts. Her teeth are even ok. She is eating and drinking, though all must be brought to her as she can't walk to the bowl. Even before this, H and I had discussed the fact that she was nearing her natural end. We have both decided that extraordinary measures would not be taken - no cancer surgery or the like, but this situation is different. She was hurt because of H's negligence and I feel a moral obligation to try to see her through this to recovery and to assuage her pain. We have her sleeping in the living room on a soft foam gymnastics mat and H is on the couch to watch her.

    I was hoping for some folk type remedies to help heal the wound. H is debriding the wounds twice a day with hydrogen peroxide (I have bought out 2 local stores already and am heading to Costco later) and then putting on antibiotic ointment and wrapping it with gauze and a bandage. The vet had said to do it every other day but that's not enough. H has EMT training on people so I feel comfortable with him doing this. The dog trusts him - she doesn't know it was his fault.

    If she were younger, we know she would recover, but at over 14, it's hard to know. The other issue we are facing is how to put her to sleep if necessary. H's plan was to have the vet to the house, but I prefer the office because I think seeing where she died would upset the children. I think that if H and I are in the room with her, it will be ok. I don't really want to be in the room but I have offered as a support to H. The kids will come but even my two in their 20's don't want to watch.

    The only upside is seeing how compassionate my children are being towards the dog. My lazy bones oldest son has hopped to it to get a towel, the peroxide, a folding table to use for the procedures. difficult child, who, like me, is not really an animal person, has sat with the dog and spoken gently to her while petting her. daughter and babyboy will be devastated; they are H's surgical assistants and the two truest animal lovers in the house. easy child almost cried when he heard and was incredibly upset when he thought the incident was the fault of him and his friends. He and his friends have petted and spoken with her and keep her near them while they play their video games. The other 2 dogs sit by her as well and bark to let us know when she needs or wants something. Even the cat has gone by and stroked the dog with her tail...
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    Oh how sad.

    We had a border collie once and she lived for about 18 years. We got her from the pound when she was approximately 2 to 4 years one knew for sure. My youngest was six months when we got her. She died when he was 15. When she died she had cataracts, arthritis and was almost deaf. She saved us deciding what to do about her because she just left the house and never came back.

    I have no idea about folk remedies for burns and dogs. Maybe aloe? Probably not.
  6. Rabbit

    Rabbit Member

    Sending Hugs Putting one of our cat down a few years back was one of the hardest things I had to do. The cat was sick for about a year before the experimental drug I got from university of Tennessee stopped working. Your family will be in my prayers.
  7. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Cataracts and arthritis are normal for a dog that age. And her feet will heal. Border Collies are one of the most intelligent breeds and she's probably confused and depressed because she can't get around like she did before - dogs get depressed too, just like people and the pain medications may have her temporarily in a bit of a fog. If she's eating and drinking well and otherwise in good health for her age, you are WAY premature to be planning her demise!

    The paws will heal but I would follow the vet's instructions EXACTLY! The proper treatment for humans isn't necessarily the proper treatment for dogs. But they will heal. One of my Bostons, Trace, came to me through the Humane Society and had been the victim of abuse. From his injuries, they surmise that he had been thrown out of a moving car and left there to die. They think he hit the pavement with his feet (and his face!) and skidded along, peeling the pads right off of his feet! A few of his toes had the skin still attached but loose and flapping. I'm sure it was very painful but, with good medical care, he healed up just fine. And he's now a happy, healthy, playful little guy. Caring for senior dogs isn't always easy but it's very rewarding. Since Trace was a little "foundling", I have no idea how old he is. But my other three are 10, 12 and 15 and still going strong! Please don't count her out yet ...
  8. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    This makes me so sad. I am facing the end stages of life withmy 14 year old shih tzu who has heart and kidney disease. She is on several medications twice a day and has to go out to urinate very often. She doesn't want to sleep in our room with us anymore or sit in the chair with me but the medications are managing her condition and she isn't in any obvious pain. I cant bear watching her in pain.

    I hope your fuzzbutt heals and has some good quality of life left.
  9. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    I'm glad she is getting the pain medications she needs, her silence would be understandable. enough medications to control the pain would make her tired, the whole experience would make anything sad. it sounds like you have done everything that can be done to make her comfortable and she will heal it just takes time. meanwhile she is surrounded by people and animals who love her and care for her and that is a comfort to her. I would follow vets advise exactly if cleaned and dressings changed too often it might slow down the healing process.

    having 12 broken bones in my hand, i can totally sympathize with what she is going thru. its gonna take time but it sounds like she is on the mend, I will keep praying for all of you.

  10. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    Thank you all. Helpangel - we ran into the vet's tech, who lives on our block and when H told her what had happened (flies alighting on her open wound), she said we were doing the right thing to change the bandage more frequently. I hope that your bones heal with no residual effects.

    We had to move the dog into the kitchen this afternoon because we were having a surprise 18th birthday party for easy child in the living room. daughter fed her 2 cans of dog food and I figured out that when she kicks the most injured paw out and back in quick moves it means she wants to go out and do her business. daughter is going back upstate tomorrow but her best friend, who is like a pet whisperer, promised to come by and spend some time with Oreo. They've been friends since first grade and we got the dog when the girls were in 3rd so the dog knows her friend for her entire life.

    Her paws looked better today and she seemed less dazed but if we take off the cone head, she licks the wounds. I've taken to calling her Beldar.

    I hope I didn't sound like I'm writing her off but even without the injury, H and I had begun to formulate an end of life plan for her (and for our 13 year old dog as well). It looks like your prayers and well wishes are helping because she seems to be getting better slowly.