Zinc was a young puppy when he had an unfortunate run in with some truck tires. His caring owners brought him in on emergency to see Dr. Meg.
Although the wound was gruesome in appearance, radiographs of Zinc’s leg showed the injury hadn’t damaged any long bones (although one toe was lost to the accident). This type of injury is called a shearing or degloving injury to describe how the skin and subcutaneous tissue is slid down or off completely.
Closing these wounds can be difficult to impossible due to tissue loss. These wounds heal by second intention, which means they are allowed to close over (granulate) on their own. The most important aspects of supporting healing involve frequent bandage changes with wound lavage, antibiotics and proper pain management. Bandages protect the wound and encourage cells to move across the wound and heal it.
As you can imagine, bandage changes in an awake animal would be incredibly painful, so Zinc was fully anesthetized for each bandage change at the beginning. As the wound starts to contract we are sometimes able to speed recovery by closing small areas of the wound (as you can see from Zinc’s photos). Once healing is well established we move to changing bandages under sedation.
Zinc is happily enjoying life on the farm once again. The missing toe hasn’t slowed him down one bit.
Below see a photo journey through Zinc’s dramatic recovery:
Finally Zinc getting some love from Molly 🙂