It’s still a mystery what happened to a young “pit bull” mix that came to the Lucas County dog warden with major chemical burns on her back.
The 10-month-old stray, which the pound called Burnadette, was found near Collingwood Boulevard and Dorr Street on July 19.
After the dog's health was stabilized by Dr. Cindy Thurston, a veterinarian in the dog warden’s office, the unidentified canine — now known as Sheridan — was transferred to the Lucas County Pit Crew.
A friendly black and white dog, the pooch is in a foster home and available for adoption.
“She was on several different medications for infection and [Dr. Thurston] put silver sulfazine on the burn,” said Jean Keating, president of the Lucas County Pit Crew. “Right now we are just giving her salmon oil in her food and sunscreen when she goes outside. [Pit Crew veterinarian] Dr. [Jennifer] Mormon said the oil in her food will help the scar tissue stay hydrated and it will become more flexible and move more naturally.”
The Pit Crew changed the dog’s name to Sheridan.
“I changed her name because she needed an awesome, yet unique name to help her get adopted,” Ms. Keating said. “You can’t move past the trauma when it’s in your name.”
Pet owners can learn a valuable lesson from what happened to Sheridan, Ms. Keating said. They need to take precautions to keep their animals away from open flames, hot stove tops, and chemicals, she said.
“I think it’s important for people to teach their dogs to lay on a mat somewhere in their kitchen, away from the counters and stove, when they are in there,” Ms. Keating said. “That way dogs won’t jump up and tip something over onto themselves.”
It’s unlikely Sheridan suffered from a kitchen accident because of to the location of her burns, she said.
“Usually you see facial and chest burns from those types of accidents,” Ms. Keating said. “This appears as if someone threw something onto her back. We can never truly know what caused the injury, but somebody does. And they didn’t seek medical care for her. They simply abandoned her.”
Burns can be caused by a variety of household items, including electrical equipment and chemicals, according to petmd.com.
Light burns can be treated at home and only cause superficial damage. More severe burns need medical attention. They can cause deep damage and shock.
Dogs with first-degree burns will show the usual signs of pain, but the skin will still be intact, according to the Web site. Second-degree and third-degree burns are more serious, because the skin is either partly or completely burned through. In those cases, pet owners should check for signs of shock as well as for burn damage.
Burns are primarily caused by one of three things: chemicals, electricity, or heat from liquids or hot objects. It is essential to quickly ascertain the cause of the burn so that it can be appropriately treated, according to petmd.com.
The primary rule with burns of any kind is never put ointment, creams, butter, or margarine on them — it does not help.
If the burn is from a liquid or hot object, pet owners should restrain the animal and cool the burned area as quickly as possible.
Once the area has been flushed with water, apply a cold compress for 20 minutes — using something like a bag of frozen vegetables — then cover the area with a nonstick bandage. Contact a vet for advice on further treatment. Burns from electrical equipment or power cords can be treated in the same way as liquids or hot objects. However, before touching the dog or surrounding cables, make sure the electricity is turned off and unplug the equipment.
Sheridan’s foster mom, Krista Parker of Toledo, said the happy-go-lucky dog doesn’t act like one that has been abused or mistreated.
“I wish she could tell us what happened to her,” Ms. Parker said.
The dog didn’t know how to use the stairs in her house at first, but she quickly learned. Now she follows Ms. Parker’s resident dog, Zara, a 2-year-old “pit bull” adopted from the Toledo Area Humane Society, around the house.
“They love to play with each other,” she said. “She gets along great with other dogs.”
The black dog has a white tip on the end of her tail, which never stops wagging.
“She’s good on a leash and she is learning ‘sit,’” Ms. Parker said. “She’s going to make someone a really fantastic pet.”