Stephen J. Birchard DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVS

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Final Outcome on Hershey: Look how good she looks!

This is the continuing story of Hershey: the 3 year female spayed Labrador attacked by 2 pitbulls.

Hershey's tail wound immediate before reconstruction
Under general anesthesia, Hershey's tail wound was prepared for aseptic surgery. A wide area of skin was clipped and prepared to allow a large skin flap to be created.
Diagrammatic representation of the planned advancement skin flap
A large local advancement skin flap was constructed by making incisions as shown in the above picture (dotted lines). The flap was deeply undermined to preserve blood supply and advanced caudally to cover most of the granulated wound.
Appearance of the tail base after advancement flap completion
We will discuss the various types of skin flaps that can be done in dogs and cats in later blogs. Hershey's abundant loose skin in the area adjacent to the wound made this type of flap a reasonable choice.

Hershey did very well postoperatively and was discharged the day after surgery with strict instructions to limit her activity for the next 4 weeks. Skin staples were removed at 14 days.

Several months after surgery the owners sent me pictures to show how well she healed.
Several months after wound treatment Hershey was doing very well and had good cosmetic and functional
results (i.e. her tail still works!)

I hope you enjoyed the story of Hershey. She was an amazing, sweet dog who went through an incredible ordeal. She was a great teaching case for the OSU students because of the combination of supportive care, prevention of sepsis, intense open wound management, and final reconstruction that was required.

Please post any comments or questions about this clinical case either on the blog site or on facebook.