PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — Pinellas County Animal Services is sharing a disturbing story to warn pet owners of the dangers of using human hair dye on pets.
Violet, a 5-pound white Maltese mix, is currently recovering after receiving extensive burns from hair dye. Most of the photos of her injuries are so graphic, Scripps station WFTS determined they were not appropriate for the viewing audience.
According to animal services, Violet was dyed with a purple hair dye that was intended for humans. As a result, Violet’s eyes were swollen shut, she was limp and listless and she had obvious burns to her skin.
Animal services gave her fluids, pain meds and gently washed as much of the chemical dye off as they could before bandaging her up.
"Then we waited – Violet went home with our veterinarian and we waited. And she came in the next morning and we were amazed that she had made it through the night. But still we waited. She wasn’t out of the woods but she was alert and freely offering kisses," Pinellas County Animal Services posted on Facebook.
Once they began to shave off her hair, they were able to really measure the damage.
"To our horror, her skin began to slough off," the post reads. "It was so much worse than we initially thought – how would this little dog make it through?!?!"
After pain medication, antibiotics, IV fluids, honey treatments, scab removal, anesthetizing, bandage changes and tireless work by animal services employees, today, three months after the hair dye, veterinarians say Violet is making a miracle recovery.
"Still, we worried – Did she have permanent blindness? Would there be infection? Would her hair ever grow back? Was there anything we were missing? When the final badges came off we breathed a collective sigh of relief – Violet was beautiful."
"Please take one thing away from Violet’s journey," Pinellas County Animal Services pleaded. "Only use products specifically meant for pets or you could be putting your pet’s life on the line."
WFTS is working to find out if charges will be filed and if Violet will be up for adoption.