Dr. Jennifer Hochstedler
That wound will never heal…. Think again!
A few months ago a young dog was brought to our clinic in Greencastle. She had been found with a severe wound to her left rear leg. The trauma that caused the wound remains unknown. Luckily, a foster home was quickly attained for her and dedicated wound therapy prevailed. The pictures you are about to see may be graphic for some viewers.
There are many factors that influence how well a wound can heal. Some of these include:
- Age of the animal
- Preexisting disease, such as liver disease or diabetes
- Debris that gets imbedded in the wound, such as plant material, teeth, gravel, etc.
- How quickly wound therapy is initiated after the trauma initially occurred
- Ability to keep wound clean and cared for
Day 1- Initial day of hospital admission
This is our little dog’s wound after we started to clip the hair and clean it with a chlorhexidine scrub.
The yellowish film is exudate or fluid that is seeping from the wound. It contains white blood cells that have tried to come in a “clean up” the wound.
The pink tissue is called granulation tissue. We suspect that the wound had been there approximately 7-10 days. The skin edges had already curled inward trying to reattach to the new underlying tissue. The wound was bandaged with chlorhexidine scrub. We then used a cream called Derma-clens (Zoetis) and bandaged the leg. Derma-Clens is wonderful for wounds that need necrotic (or non-living) tissue removed so that more appropriate healing can occur. It is used frequently for cat bite abscesses.
The derma-clens did a great job of cleaning up the non-living tissue and debris. At this point, it was important to keep the wound clean, dry and covered. We used sugar on the wound moving forward as it encourages continual granulation tissue production to fill in the wound.
Look at how much it is closing in! We continued to clean off any exudate and/or debris with chlorhexidine (antimicrobial) scrub and then kept bandaged with a sugar wrap. Tulip had to wear an e-collar when she was not under direct supervision, as she liked to remove the bandage on her own!
The skin eventually healed over completely and her owner continues to see the scar contract and shrink down.
Tulip has fully recovered and has no trouble playing like any other pup!