How to Heal Clipper Burns on a Dog

by Heather Vecchioni

Apple Tree House/Lifesize/Getty Images

Clipper burn is an uncomfortable, and unfortunately, a common occurrence on dogs who are groomed. Clipper burn appears as red marks or lines on a dog’s skin, typically in sensitive areas, such as the stomach or groin. Burning can occur for several reasons, including blades that are too hot or dull. If your dog has clipper burns, there are treatments to relieve its pain.

Step 1

Keep the area dry. Typically, irritations heal quickest when dry and open to air. If the spot is moist or damp, that could create an infection or more irritation.

Step 2

Poke a hole in a vitamin E capsule and gently rub its contents on the area, the United States Kerry Blue Terrier Club suggests. Vitamin E is a natural skin remedy and should be used at least once a day until the irritation is resolved. Lanolin and aloe vera gel are natural remedies that are also effective on clipper burn that you should use daily until the burn is eliminated.

Step 3

Rub an over-the-counter steroid cream or ointment on the burn to soothe and help heal the area. Use the creams daily until the burn is gone.

Step 4

Bathe your dog in shampoo designed to soothe irritated skin, such as those containing oatmeal. Use warm or cool water and completely rinse off any shampoo. Follow the directions on the bottle for how long to let the shampoo soak and how often it is safe to use.

Step 5

Purchase products that are designed specifically for the use of soothing clipper burn and use them on the affected areas per the product’s directions. Pet stores typically sell these creams and gels. The products are usually in the grooming or shampoo sections.

Items You Will Need

  • Vitamin E
  • Lanolin
  • Aloe vera gel
  • Steroid cream
  • Soothing shampoo

Tips

  • Prevent your dog from licking the irritated areas because the dog can cause more damage. Also, keep the dog from licking off the products you use to soothe the burns. They probably won’t harm him, but are useless if removed. Consider an Elizabethan collar if you cannot keep him from doing so.
  • To avoid clipper burns, check the temperature of your blades often by feeling them with your hands. Blades tend to heat up quickly, and if they become too hot, they will burn your dog’s skin. Cool them with sprays designed to lower blade temperatures.
  • Keep your blades clean and sharp to prevent clipper burns. Run your blades in cleaning solutions after every grooming and send your blades out for sharpening regularly.

Warnings

  • Assess the area thoroughly before treatment. If the wound appears to be open, or if there is any discharge, take your dog to the veterinarian immediately. He may require stitches if the wound is deep or antibiotics if there is an infection.
  • Clipper burns can turn into infected hot spots if not treated effectively or efficiently. If you begin to see signs of infection on the burn, contact your veterinarian.

Photo Credits

  • Apple Tree House/Lifesize/Getty Images

About the Author

Heather Vecchioni is a freelance writer in Maryland. Her work has appeared in several animal-interest magazines, as well as Baltimore-area newspapers and publications. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Maryland. She has worked in the veterinary field for over 10 years and has been writing and editing professionally for over five.

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