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Companion Animal Practice
Wound management in small animal practice
  1. Davina Anderson

    Davina Anderson graduated from Cambridge in 1989. After two years in mixed practice in Surrey, she completed an internship in small animal medicine and surgery at the Royal Veterinary College. In 1993, she returned to Cambridge to take up a clinical research training scholarship funded by the Wellcome Trust. She holds the RCVS certificate in small animal surgery and is currently studying for a PhD in epidermaldermal interactions in the department of pathology at Cambridge. Her interests include wound healing, skin grafting, treatment of burns and reconstructive surgery.


TRAUMATIC wounds are a common presentation in small animal practice. Prolonged healing times of these injuries are expensive and distressing for the client and patient. The normal healing process is efficient and an understanding of the cellular physiology of the healing wound enables the surgeon to make objective decisions to manipulate the process to the patient's advantage; for example, performing a surgical reconstruction or skin graft may be less expensive in terms of dressings and time than allowing a wound to heal by second intention. Broadly, the aims of wound management are: a functional and cosmetic repair; relief of pain and distress to the animal; economic and time efficient procedures; and prompt decision making in the event of signs of delayed healing. This article covers some of the aspects of managing wounds in the early stages.

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