Thursday, June 4, 2015

The Pet PT Pit Stop: Wound Care 101 (Part I The Basics)

by Susan E. Davis, PT “pull in for a helpful refuel!”  

It’s all about guiding and empowering you to help your dog avoid injury, provide practical solutions and achieve rapid restoration of health and function!   


Wounds are likely to occur multiple times through the course of your dog’s life.

Having basic knowledge and understanding of wounds, their care and healing process, can be of great help to you both. 

Some wounds can be treated at home but others must be treated in the vet's office.

Physical therapy can also be helpful in the care of wounds and scar tissue

Here are the elemental facts about wounds:

Types of wounds often seen in dogs are lick granulomas, burns, abrasions, bites, lacerations, metabolic disease related/vascular-types (from Diabetes, Cushing’s), pressure ulcers, urine scalds, trauma/degloving injuries, gunshot wounds, and puncture wounds from a bite or sharp object.

Depth of wounds

Superficial (first degree)
affecting only upper/outermost layers of skin (the epidermis), containing fur or hair.  These are characterized by the presence of swelling, blisters, bruising and are generally not very bloody, but appearing pink. Superficial wounds are usually painful.

Superficial
(first degree)
affecting only upper/outermost layers of skin (the epidermis), containing fur or hair.  These are characterized by the presence of swelling, blisters, bruising and are generally not very bloody, but appearing pink. Superficial wounds are usually painful.
Partial Thickness
(second degree)
affecting the outermost layers as above plus the middle layers: the dermis. These are characterized by the presence of thick blistering, skin slough, blood, and can appear bright pink, red or white. This depth of wound is painful, but less than the first degree.
Full Thickness
(third degree)
all skin elements are destroyed or damaged plus the underlying/subcutaneous structures often including nerve endings, fat, bone, and muscle.









How wounds heal

What would you do if a storm blew through unexpectedly and tore a hole in the side of your home? You’d clean up the mess, get organized, call a repair service, have a builder make a scaffold, set a frame, use plaster, drywall and other means necessary to rebuild.

That’s what your dog’s body does when an injury causing a wound occurs. It follows these stages of wound healing:

  • Inflammation:  swelling

  • Proliferation: vessels and capillaries that are injured secrete blood platelets and fibroblasts. New capillary buds migrate into the bed of the wound.  In partial and full- thickness wounds, a bright red layer of granulation tissue forms. It can appear lumpy and clot-like, also described as “pebbled” red tissue.

  • Remodeling: fibroblast cells produce fibrin and collagen that forms fibrous tissue to serve as a scaffold or framework on which new tissue can rebuild. At this stage the wound starts to repair and appears pink with epithelial tissue. In deeper wounds, a layer of yellow protein coagulum might form on top. Once this is peeled away or removed, you will see pink epithelium underneath.

  • Maturation: the final stage, where the wound constricts, starts to close and a scab forms or a scar is produced.



*** 

Susan E. Davis (Sue) is a licensed Physical Therapist with over 30 years of practice in the human field, who transitioned into the animal world after taking courses at the UT Canine Rehabilitation program.  She is located in Red Bank, New Jersey.

She has been providing PT services to dogs and other animals through her entity Joycare Onsite, LLC in pet’s homes and in vet clinics since 2008.

She also provides pro bono services at the Monmouth County SPCA in Eatontown, NJ.  Sue is the proud “dog mommy” to Penelope, a miniature Dachshund with “attitude”.  For more information see her website www.joycareonsite.com , or follow on Twitter @animalPTsue.


Sue is also the author of a fantastic book on physical therapy, Physical Therapy And Rehabilitation For Animals: A Guide For The Consumer.  

Physical therapy can do so many great things for your dog. Understanding all the possibilities physical therapy can offer will change your dog's life. This book definitely belongs on the shelf of every dog lover.



Articles by Susan E. Davis:
Functional Strengthening Exercises: the What, Why and How
One Thing Leads To Another: Why The Second ACL Often Goes Too
Compensation: An Attempt To Restore Harmony
Paring Down to the Canine Core
Canine Massage: Every Dog ‘Kneads’ It”
Photon Power: Can Laser Therapy Help Your Dog?  
Physical Therapy in the Veterinary World  
Reiki: Is it real? 
Dog Lessons: Cooper  
The Essentials Of Canine Injury Prevention: 7 Tips For Keeping Your Dog Safer 
It's Not Just Walking, It's Therapy! 
Treatment And Prevention Of Canine Intervertebral Disc Disease (Part I)
Treatment And Prevention Of Canine Intervertebral Disc Disease (Part II Physical Therapy)
Range Of Motion: It’s A Matter Of Degree…
The Weight Of Water And How It Helps Dogs 
By Land or By Sea? A Comparison of Canine Treadmills 
Unraveling The Mystery Of Fascia And Myofascial Trigger Points (Part I)
Unraveling The Mystery Of Fascia And Myofascial Trigger Points (Part II) 
Scar Tissue: Is it Too Much of a Good Thing? 
Physical Therapy Tip Of The Month: Ramps! 
Physical Therapy Tip Of The Month: Indoor Duo Dog Exercises!
Physical Therapy Tip Of The Month: Best Practices After Your Dog’s Surgery 
Physical Therapy Tip Of The Month: Ideas to Chew on - Can Physical Therapy Help with my Dog’s Digestive Problems?
Wrap It Up: Using Soft Supports For Your Dog
When Do I Use Heat versus Cold? : A Tale (or Tail) Of Two Temps! (Part I) 
When Do I Use Heat versus Cold? : A Tale (or Tail) Of Two Temps! (Part II) 
Physical Therapy Tip Of The Month: Safe Summer Boating Tips for your Dog 
Physical Therapy Tip Of The Month: Hip Dysplasia - What’s a Dawg Mama to Do?
PT Pit Stop: Wheeled Carts Keep Them Doggies Rollin' (Part I)
PT Pit Stop: Wheeled Carts Keep Them Doggies Rollin' (Part II)
Staying in the Loop with Targeted Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy
Addressing Frailty Syndrome in Geriatric Dogs 
The Pet PT Pit Stop: "Where's The Evidence?"
Physical Therapy is Great, Except When It Isn’t 
Top Dogs and their Toplines at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show (Part I)
Top Dogs and their Toplines at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show (Part II) 
What's in a Dog's Gait? 
A Practical Method to manage your Dog’s Care Plan 

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