Dash is a 9½ year old English Springer Spaniel. In April one evening, Dash was admitted to the surgery as an emergency. She had gone missing for 5½ hours and was found in some woods impaled on a sapling. The piece of wood had gone through the top of her foreleg and armpit, damaging the muscle and leaving a very large wound.
Dash was anaesthetised and the wound cleaned and flushed with sterile saline and then sutured together. Healing of these types of wounds can be challenging due to the contamination and the traumatic damage to the tissue.
Unfortunately but not unsurprisingly the wound started to breakdown and open up, despite the stitches, about a week later. Dash was admitted to the clinic again for a further general anaesthetic and surgery to flush, debride and re-stitch the wound. Approximately 50% of the wound had opened up and we could see that the remaining 50% was beginning to heal up well.
Dash had to be kept on strict confinement following her second surgery to try to give the wound a good chance of healing, not easy for an active springer spaniel but throughout her recovery dash showed herself to be an extremely good and tolerant patient.
Disappointingly the wound once again opened up 5 days later. However the tissue looked clean and healthy so we decided to let the wound heal by secondary intention (i.e. allow to heal without stitches). We do this by keeping the wound infection free and using a mixture of medical grade manuka honey and hydrogel to promote moist wound healing.
Over a period of 4 weeks the wound gradually healed up. We saw Dash twice a week to clean and redress the wound. The wound had totally healed by the end of May.
Dash was very brave and an excellent patient. Thanks also go to her owner for being diligent in her care of Dash throughout her recovery. Dash is now back to her normal activities and exercise.