Wound Treatment, Management, and Healing
Trauma to a pet’s skin occurs a variety of different ways. It is important to ensure your pet receives the proper care right away in the event of damage to their skin or paw pads, as bacteria and infection can quickly take over.
The Most Important Thing You Can Do For Your Pet If They Receive Any Wound To Their Skin Is To See Your Veterinarian For Treatment Immediately!! In order to suture a laceration closed, it must be completed within 6 hours of occurrence. Bite wounds quickly get infected and form dangerous abscesses that affect your pet’s whole body without quick treatment!! Punctures may seem small on the surface, but many small punctures introduce bacteria and debris deep into body cavities where they can cause serious infection!! Do Not Wait or attempt at home treatment remedies. Many of the wounds we see require tremendous efforts of management to fully heal because of delays in treatment.
Types Of Wounds:
Lacerations: wounds produced by the tearing of body tissue, such as a cut or incision.
Punctures: wounds that penetrate, such as impaling sticks or canine teeth in bite wounds.
Abrasions: wounds caused by rubbing or scraping of the skin or mucus membrane. Lick granulomas and hot spots are abrasions caused by a pet’s rough tongue licking the same area of skin repetitively.
Avulsions: wounds caused by a “peeling” away of the skin. Nail Avulsions are common from excessive exercises and playing.
Abscess: a localized collection of infected puss in a cavity or pocket of skin.
Burns: wounds caused by skin contact with heat, chemicals, electricity, or radiation. Injuries caused by friction, such as “rug burn” or “road rash” can be a combination of abrasions and heat burns.
Wound Treatment At The Clinic: To treat wounds, the Suffolk Veterinary Group Laser Surgery Center will use a combination of the surgical laser and therapy laser to provide the best healing outcomes. First we will clip all the hair away from the wound and within a wide area around it, to reduce contamination and create a sterile field in which to work. At this time we will also scrub the area clean with aseptic surgical scrub to remove larger foreign objects and debris. Then the surgical laser will be used to debride or “clean” the surface of the wound by vaporizing bacteria that is stuck to it, and to cauterize any bleeding vessels. Next, the surgical laser will “freshen” the edges of the wound by trimming off ragged edges while sealing off nerve ending to prevent transmission of painful stimuli. Once the wound has been “debrided” and “freshened,” Dr. Winkler will proceed to create skin flaps and do his best to use sutures, staples, bandages, and surgical wound “glue,” or any combination of the four, to close the wound and keep it closed if the wound is viable for closure. Afterwards, your pet will receive a treatment application of our therapy laser to promote healing by reducing inflammation, stimulating nerve cells to produce pain-blocking neurotransmitters, and increasing circulation and blood flow to the site to promote cellular repair and healing.
Not all wounds are capable of being sutured closed. Abscesses, abrasions, punctures, and wounds in which care has been delayed will require healing via second intention or “opened” technique where the wound is kept clean, and topical antibiotics are administered. Bandages may or may not be applied, and severe wounds over large areas may require “wet-to-dry” bandage techniques changed bi-daily to heal.
Wound Management At Home will require you to monitor your pet to prevent licking at the healing site, and making sure they keep their Elizabethan cone collar on at all times. You will need to provide them with a quiet and confined area to rest, as well as keeping all dogs on a leash, even in their own yard. Outside potty trips for dogs should be brief, and cats should have shredded paper in their littler boxes. Bandages will need to be kept dry at all times, and you will need to do your best to keep your pet from urinating or soiling bandages to prevent infection. Bandages that require changes should have those changes done in a timely manner, and you will need to monitor your pet for any swelling or smells at the bandage location, as again, those could be indications of serious infection. All medications should be administered as directed by the Veterinarian, and returning for follow-up care will be critical in determining if those medication require refills and additional administration.
Returning For Follow-Up As Directed Is Immensely Important To Positive Wound Healing Outcomes!! Failure to follow-up with your veterinarian as instructed during the process of wound healing will cause complications, and may result in your pet’s wound taking longer to heal, or experiencing a relapse of infections.