Absolutely! Morkies can get sunburned in the hot, dog days of summer. Puppies, dogs with a thin or clipped coat and dogs with white coats are all very susceptible to burning. Some meds can increase chances of burning too. And with burning, comes the risk of skin cancer, so sunburn is definitely something to take seriously.
Special areas vulnerable to burning
You need to keep a close watch for sunburn on your Morkie’s:
- ears, especially the tips
- around the lips
- top of his head
- anywhere where the coat is a bit thin
Sunscreen for dogs?
There are special pet-quality sunscreens. Or you can use basic sunscreens made for babies – just make sure they do not contain zinc oxide or PABA, which could be licked off and is poisonous.
A t-shirt and hat for your Morkie can help protect him from the sun’s harmful rays.
Treating dog sunburn
There are degrees of burns, just like in humans, so anything that seems more serious should be treated by a Vet at once. However if the burn is mild, you can do the following:
- be sure your Morkie is hydrated – make plenty of fresh water available
- for immediate relief, but not necessarily treatment, you can lower your Morkie into a cool but not cold, bath or apply a cold, wet cloth to the burned areas.
- apply a topical spray like we use, such as Solarcaine or Lanacane. They contain local anesthetic to help reduce any pain. Just be sure that your Morkie doesn’t lick it off.
Some natural D-I-Y treatments include:
- applying aloe vera gel to the burned areas – again, it’s very important your Morkie does not lick ANY of the aloe vera, since it’s poisonous if ingested
- use a soothing body butter like Shea Butter
- apply Witch Hazel with a cotton ball several times a day. Witch Hazel is a natural astringent with antiseptic properties, something our grandmothers probably used for all members of the household. It can cool down burned, inflamed skin without the sting of alcohol.
- make an oatmeal soak for your Morkie. Just fill an old sock with uncooked oatmeal, and hold it under the tap as you fill a small bath for your dog. Get him to soak in this solution for as long as possible
Where there’s sunburn, heat stroke can follow
Do you know the signs of heat stroke in dogs? They include:
- heavy panting
- vomiting and diarrhea
- extremely red eyes and tongue
If you see any of these signs, get your Morkie cooled down as quickly as possible and to an emergency vet. Heatstroke in small dogs can quickly turn fatal!
As you’re cooling him down with cool damp towels or a cool bath, find an emergency clinic. Once at the vet, they can determine the dog’s temperature and take further action if necessary.
When to see a Vet for dog sunburn
Besides possible heat stroke, there are other signs your dog is so sunburned she needs medical attention.
If your dog is clearly in pain, or if there are blisters on the sunburned areas, it’s definitely time to see your Veterinarian. If in doubt – check it out!
Image credits: Daisy at the Beach, on Flicker; Morkie Love on Pinterest; Tri-colour Morkie on the Beach on Ink 361.