Monday, March 24, 2014

Trauma and Healing – It can happen!

A few months ago, we saw a young dog that had a constriction trauma to his paw.  When he first presented to us with his problem, Shiloh’s paw was almost 3x its normal size due to the swelling and constricted blood circulation.  His toes were swollen and spread out like a fan, and his whole foot was purple in color.  But sweet as he is, he still wagged his tail and hopped around on his other three legs greeting us all that day.

After initially wrapping his paw with daily wrap changes, at times using a sugar wrap to draw out the edema (swelling) as well as diuretics, antibiotics, pain medication, and lots or care and attention by staff and family alike, Shiloh’s foot began to shrink back to its normal size and shape.  The skin over the injured area and the foot were challenged by the extreme swelling, and eventually sloughed off.  But we knew that he still had feeling in his toes even though initially he couldn’t move them due to the swelling.  Because of the loss of protective skin tissue, he was also at high risk for infection.  In time, the swelling subsided and granulation tissue (precursor to new skin) formed and healed over the underlying muscle and tendons, until eventually the hair even began to grow back.  It has taken about 6 weeks, but we are now comfortable that his paw will be fine.   
Here are a series of photos taken during the progression of his care to give you an idea of how these types of wounds heal. 
Thanks for sharing them, Shiloh!  Happy trails!!