About 3 months ago, little pup Violet, a 5 pound Maltese mix was brought to the Pinellas County Animal Services shelter in Florida with severe wounds all over her body.
The wounds were a result of horrible chemical burns little Violet received after her owner used human hair dye to make her fur purple. Violet nearly died.
After 3 months the dog is still recovering from the burns to her back and eyes. The veterinarians were concerned at first that Violet would also be poisoned by licking at her chemical-soaked fur, and possibly blinded from the dye. So the medical team treated her and washed off as much of the dye as they possibly could. She was bandaged and medicated, and the workers waited to see how little Violet would progress.
When the bandages were removed, her skin began to slough off. Three months later she is still healing, but has now been adopted by a new owner. She is expected to end up fully healed, though her fur is still slightly pink.
Now the rescuers at Pinellas County Animal Services are speaking out about the dangers of using such dyes on your pet’s fur. They wrote on a heartfelt Facebook post:
Pet makeovers are wonderful – they come out smiling after a new haircut, nail trim, maybe a little bow or bandana. They smell so good, they feel so soft and they prance around showing off. Great stuff, right! We do our own hair – funky styles and colors are on the rise. Express yourself, but please do not use hair dye intended for humans to express your pet’s style. Let’s all say that together – Do NOT, under any circumstances, use hair color intended for humans on your pets. Chemicals in hair dye are TOXIC causing a wide array of external injury to your pet – possible burns, blindness and because an animal’s first instinct is to lick, it can cause poisoning or internal burns. Just don’t.
A spokeswoman for the shelter summed it up, saying, “Please take one thing away from Violet’s journey – only use products specifically meant for pets or you could be putting your pet’s life on the line.”
Hopefully the message gets out and people will be more thoughtful when coloring their dog’s fur. But in the end, Violet’s story has a happy ending. She was recently adopted by a professional dog groomer!