Basic First Aid – Minor Scalds

Below is some advice for dealing with minor scalds home. You should contact us if you have an emergency with your pet such as difficulty breathing, moderate-severe bleeding, collapse, broken bones, seizures, eye injuries or head injuries.

Always assess the situation for any safety hazards before assisting your pet- do not put yourself in danger.

Minor scalds

You should always seek immediate veterinary attention for all but the most minor of scalds. This is particularly important if the scald is on the face/neck, if blistering has been caused or the scald covers an area greater than the size of your pet’s paw. Burns caused by chemicals, electric shocks or fire should always be treated by a vet.


Most common: accidental spillage of hot liquid/food, heat lamp burns, sunburn.


Bathe the affected area with cool running water for 15 minutes. A cool compress such as frozen peas (wrapped in a thin towel which is then wrapped in clingfilm) can be applied to the area. Assess the area for any blistering or swelling. Aloe vera can be applied to skin that is still intact.

 Broken or blistering skin can be covered in cling film and veterinary advice sought immediately.

Heat lamp burns are relatively common in reptiles. A safety guard should be used on all heat lamps. These burns are often deeper and more damaging than they first appear and should always be assessed by your vet.

Chemical burns

Always consider your own safety when dealing with chemical burns – you should wear protective clothing before handling your pet. Your pet’s coat should be bathed with cool running water for 15 minutes, and veterinary treatment should be sought immediately.