A dog in Florida almost died from severe skin burns when her owner attempted to dye her fur purple using hair color meant for use by people.
The Pinellas County Animal Services said the Maltese mix named Violet was brought in to be treated last October because of her injuries. Staff did not think the animal would survive because of her condition. She had swollen shut eye and a badly burned skin.
Hospital staff tried to wash off as many chemicals from the dog's fur as they can but they eventually found that Violet's injury was worse than earlier thought. The dog's skin was so damaged it started to slough off after the staff shaved the animal's hair.
The dog luckily survived but it has to endure painful treatments over the next three months. It received pain medications, scab removals, IV fluids, honey treatments, and antibiotics.
The care the dog received appeared to be working. When the bandages were removed, the staff found Violet with all her hair back. Things also appeared to go back to normal. She started to walk the halls, make noises again, and accept gentle pets from the staff.
"It started with a little noise; not really a bark, not really a cry. But then she found her voice and she never, ever, EVER stopped. She began to walk the halls, visiting each office requesting treats or hugs or gentle pats, always in the lead with our veterinarian in tow. It was clear - Violet was on the mend and she wanted everyone to know it," the Pinellas County Animal Services shared in a post on Facebook.
The dog is now in the care of a new owner who has experience in grooming pets. The dog is also reportedly doing well.
Dyeing an animal's fur can cause stress to the animal and may result in complications and allergic reactions that can threaten its health. There are also ethical issues in dyeing pets. However, for pet owners who want to use color products on animals, the first thing to do is to consult with a veterinarian who may offer advice on what dyes are safe for pets.
Hair color designed for use by humans should not be used on pets. The chemicals in these hair colors are toxic and the animals are likely to lick on them. The Ph level of the pet's skin is also different from humans so pets, just like Violet, may suffer from adverse reactions.