The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
Clinical Practice Review
Severe burn injury, burn shock, and smoke inhalation injury in small animals. Part 2: diagnosis, therapy, complications, and prognosis
Article first published online: 10 APR 2012
© Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society 2012
Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care
Volume 22, Issue 2, pages 187–200, April 2012
How to Cite
Vaughn, L., Beckel, N. and Walters, P. (2012), Severe burn injury, burn shock, and smoke inhalation injury in small animals. Part 2: diagnosis, therapy, complications, and prognosis. Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care, 22: 187–200. doi: 10.1111/j.1476-4431.2012.00728.x
- Issue published online: 10 APR 2012
- Article first published online: 10 APR 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 8 FEB 2012
- Manuscript Received: 2 FEB 2011
- thermal injury;
- fluid therapy;
- compartment syndrome;
To review the evaluation and treatment of patients suffering from severe burn injury (SBI), burn shock, and smoke inhalation injury. Potential complications and prognosis associated with SBI are also discussed.
Diagnosis of burn injury and burn shock is based on patient history and clinical presentation. Superficial burn wounds may not be readily apparent for the first 48 h whereas more severe wounds will be evident at presentation. Patients are diagnosed with local or SBI by estimating total body surface area involved using the ‘Rule of Nines’ or the Lund-Browder chart adapted from the human literature.
Patients suffering from SBI require immediate and aggressive fluid therapy. Burn wounds require prompt cooling to prevent progressive tissue damage. Due to significant pain associated with burn wounds and therapeutic procedures, multimodal analgesia is recommended. Daily wound management including hydrotherapy, topical medications, and early wound excision and grafting is necessary with SBI.
There are numerous complications associated with SBI. The most common complications include infections, hypothermia, intra-abdominal hypertension, and abdominal compartment syndrome.
The prognosis of SBI in domestic animals is unknown. Based on information derived from human literature, patients with SBI and concomitant smoke inhalation likely have a worse prognosis than those with SBI or smoke inhalation alone.