Lesley G. King, MVB, Diplomate ACVECC and ACVIM (Small Animal Internal Medicine)
University of Pennsylvania
After a busy Saturday, I finally sat down for a moment with a Bombay Sapphire and tonic, and my whippet, Tristan, jumped up on the sofa to curl up next to me.
Then my heart sank when I spotted some blood on his side…and further inspection revealed a small but full-thickness skin laceration. With a sigh, I put the drink in the refrigerator and picked up the car keys to take Tristan to the local emergency veterinary clinic, knowing he would need lavage and a suture.
SUTURES & SURGERY
It’s been a bad month for the dogs in my household, and my house is beginning to look like a trauma hospital zone.
Anyone who owns a sighthound knows that traumatic injuries are a common consequence of their powerful speed. They definitely use their vision to identify and chase prey, but apparently are not very good at using it to notice and avoid obstacles that might cause injury if hit at high velocity.
I owe a grateful shout-out to the smiling staff at West Chester Animal Emergency Center (westchestervetmedcenter.com) who once again did a really nice and very quick job putting Tristan back together.
In addition to Tristan’s emergency clinic visit, Sophie, my other whippet, needed arthroscopy and a TPLO for a chronic cruciate rupture. Another appreciative mention, this time to the fabulous Dr. Kim Agnello at PennVet, who did a lovely job on Sophie’s stifle (vet.upenn.edu/veterinary-hospitals/ryan-veterinary-hospital). And also a nod to Petplan, thank goodness, for reimbursing me quickly and as promised (gopetplan.com).
In a timely twist, this issue of Today’s Veterinary Practice features two articles that focus on various aspects of trauma. In her article on moist wound management, Dr. Campbell introduces up-to-date approaches for management of open wounds to optimize and increase the speed of healing. All of us should understand the basics of wound healing, and be aware of newer products available that absorb excess wound exudate, facilitate formation of healthy granulation tissue, and protect and enhance epithelialization of even large skin defects.
We also have the first in a special two-part series on fractures, written by Drs. Dycus and Kapler. The first article focuses on fracture biomechanics, fracture classification, and diagnosis. It continues by providing an overview of selection of the right fixation method for each individual case.
MORE ON FRACTURES
In our next issue, the second part of the fracture management series will follow with a specific discussion of different fracture fixation techniques, and addresses bone healing and complications of fracture fixation.
This series is complemented in this issue by some interesting data from Banfield Pet Hospitals, showing the prevalence of various bone fractures seen in their primary care practices in 2014. It is interesting to note that younger animals had a higher prevalence of broken bones, and that there is a difference in the bones most frequently fractured in dogs compared with cats.
RECOVERY FOR ALL
You’ll be glad to hear that I was able to get back to my gin and tonic when I got home from the emergency clinic with Tristan. Most important, both Sophie and Tristan are doing great despite my somewhat amateurish post-injury management. Thank goodness whippets are tougher than they look!
—Lesley King, Editor in Chief