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Initial Evaluation
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Geriatric Rehabilitation
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Wound Care
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Wound Care in Dogs

Wounds and Abscesses:
Bite wounds and other punctures that then become abscesses are one of the most common problems we see.

Many people don't know their dog has an abscess; it's not always obvious, but what they do notice is that the pet has no energy, not much appetite, and is sore and often lame. Often tender too.

Open wounds are much more obvious, of course, but are listed along with abscesses since they are often related and the treatment is similar.

Our Treatment Process:
Treatment varies dependent upon the severity and condition of the wound, the cause of the wound, the age and condition of the dog and most of all your veterinarian's advice (He/She is the team leader).

 

Treatment requires any or all of the following:
Medical management
Infection management
Pain management
Confinement/activity restriction of the dog

  

Wounds can be shallow, primarily involving skin, or deep (down to and including bone). The goal of wound healing is regeneration or repair of the injured tissue.  Different connective tissues in the body heal differently. Bone restores original tissue while other connective tissue responds by repair (essentially scarring).  Different tissues heal at different rates and care needs to be taken to strictly adhere to activity limitations your vet gives you in order to ensure optimal healing.

For instance: skin stabilizes at approximately 21 days at 20% of its original strength and reaches 70% of its original strength in a year. Muscle requires >6 wks to heal, tendons reach 56% strength at 6 wks and 79% at 1 year, ligaments take 1 year to regain 50-70% of their original strength.

We can assist your veterinarian with the following:

Providing protected activity for controlled mobilization (generally passive range of motion) as soon as your vet will allow. This stimulates healing, decreases the risk of adhesions and encourages collagen fibers that repair the injury to orient themselves to the lines of stress and strain (important for return to optimum strength at the area of the injury).

Laser therapy has been found to be quite effective in both pain control and speeding the repair process with soft tissue injuries. Soft tissue mobilizations such as scar massage and deep friction massage (particularly in the case of biceps tendonitis) can also speed the process.

In the case of decubitus ulcers (the old-fashioned name in human therapy is "bed sores"): we can help in prevention and early detection. We can fabricate doughnuts and pressure pads to decrease pressure to the area, laser therapy can help and your vet may recommend antibiotics and or topical ointments. Turning an immobilized dog frequently and assuring that they are kept clean and dry (in the case of incontinent dogs) is also important.

Lick granulomas are a special and frustrating case:  It is unknown what actually causes these but the theories vary from anxiety and fear issues to possibly and inflammatory response that becomes chronic because the dog keeps re-irritating the tissue.  Treatment can include medications for the psychological component as well as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory's and antihistamines.  Laser therapy followed by wound cream and wrapping (initially) can be effective.

 

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