A case series of thermal scald injuries in dogs exposed to hot water from garden hoses (garden hose scalding syndrome)

Vet Dermatol. 2012 Apr;23(2):162-6, e33. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3164.2011.01015.x. Epub 2011 Dec 1.


In this report, we present a series of cases of thermal burns (scalds) in dogs resulting from exposure to hot water from a garden hose that had been lying in the sun. These dogs typically inhabited the southern and western regions of the USA, where the recorded high temperatures often exceed 32°C (90°F) during the warm summer months. Dogs with thermal scald injury in these cases presented with linear thermal burns along the dorsum, in addition to a variety of other macroscopic lesions that were dependent upon the degree of burn exposure and ranged from local erythema to ulcerated, necrotic and sloughing skin. Chronic, healed wounds were often alopecic, with markedly thickened skin and characteristically smooth and glassy scar tissue formation. Histologically, the lesions of thermal scald injury in these dogs were indistinguishable from any other second or third degree burn, and consisted of full-thickness dermal and epidermal necrosis with occasional fibrinoid necrosis of vessel walls, vasculitis and intravascular thrombosis. Here, we closely examine 10 cases of dogs with dorsal thermal burns collected from Texas, Arizona, California, Utah, Nevada, Indiana, Michigan and North Carolina and propose the term 'garden hose scalding syndrome (GHS)' to describe this unique type of scald injury.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Burns / pathology
  • Burns / veterinary*
  • Dog Diseases / etiology*
  • Dog Diseases / pathology
  • Dogs
  • Female
  • Hot Temperature / adverse effects*
  • Male