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When people find ill and injured animals their first instinct is to give it food and water. If an animal is extremely cold, hot, dehydrated, emaciated, ill or injured, this can quickly overload the animal’s system and cause it to die quickly. That’s why we wrote an article about how to care for extremely emaciated, dehydrated, ill and injured animals.
Here are some instructions if you find ill, injured, burned, singed animals in or around the fire area. Animals involved in fires have respiratory injuries due to the inhalation of air heated to a temps over 122F° which results in burns of the mouth, oropharynx and upper airway. The main cause of death on these patients is smoke inhalation associated to the fall of oxygen concentration due to carbon monoxide and dioxide during combustion.
Safely get the animal into a pet crate, container. Your safety and the safety of the animal are important. If possible, do not touch the animal. Lure the animal into a pet crate with a tiny piece of food. You can also corral the animal into the crate. If you cannot safely get the animal into a crate, stop and call a wildlife rehabilitator or animal control.
Cover the crate with a towel and place in a quiet place away from other animals or humans. Contact a wildlife rehabilitator or animal control. Do not give food or water at this time unless instructed by a wildlife rehabilitator or veterinarian. If you can't find a wildlife rehabilitator or veterinarian, follow instructions in the article linked above and the one below.
The below link is an article for veterinarians, vet techs, wildlife rehabilitators about medical management of burned animals.
*Photo credit, Ray Chavez.
Medical Management of Burned Animals, WSAVA 2002 Congress, Luis H. Tello, DVM, MS.
Mary Cummins of Animal Advocates is a wildlife rehabilitator licensed by the California Department of Fish and Game and the USDA. Mary Cummins is also a licensed real estate appraiser in Los Angeles, California.
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