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Gross and histologic evaluation of effects of photobiomodulation, silver sulfadiazine, and a topical antimicrobial product on experimentally induced full-thickness skin wounds in green iguanas (Iguana iguana)

Lara M. Cusack DVM1, Joerg Mayer DVM, MS2, Daniel C. Cutler DVM3, Daniel R. Rissi DVM, PhD4, and Stephen J. Divers BMedVet, DZooMed5
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  • 1 Department of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.
  • | 2 Department of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.
  • | 3 Department of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.
  • | 4 Department of Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.
  • | 5 Department of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To assess effects of photobiomodulation, silver sulfadiazine, and a topical antimicrobial product for the treatment of experimentally induced full-thickness skin wounds in green iguanas (Iguana iguana).

ANIMALS 16 healthy subadult green iguanas.

PROCEDURES Iguanas were anesthetized, and three 5-mm cutaneous biopsy specimens were obtained from each iguana (day 0). Iguanas were randomly assigned to 2 treatment groups, each of which had a control treatment. Wounds in the topical treatment group received silver sulfadiazine, a topical antimicrobial product, or no treatment. Wounds in the laser treatment group received treatment with a class 4 laser at 5 or 10 J/cm2 or no treatment. Wound measurements were obtained daily for 14 days. Iguanas were euthanized, and treatment sites were evaluated microscopically to detect ulceration, bacterial contamination, reepithelialization, necrosis, inflammation, fibrosis, and collagen maturity.

RESULTS On day 14, wounds treated with a laser at 10 J/cm2 were significantly smaller than those treated with silver sulfadiazine, but there were no other significant differences among treatments. Histologically, there were no significant differences in ulceration, bacterial infection, reepithelialization, necrosis, inflammation, fibrosis, and collagen maturity among treatments.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Photobiomodulation at 10 J/cm2 appeared to be a safe treatment that was tolerated well by green iguanas, but it did not result in substantial improvement in histologic evidence of wound healing, compared with results for other treatments or no treatment.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To assess effects of photobiomodulation, silver sulfadiazine, and a topical antimicrobial product for the treatment of experimentally induced full-thickness skin wounds in green iguanas (Iguana iguana).

ANIMALS 16 healthy subadult green iguanas.

PROCEDURES Iguanas were anesthetized, and three 5-mm cutaneous biopsy specimens were obtained from each iguana (day 0). Iguanas were randomly assigned to 2 treatment groups, each of which had a control treatment. Wounds in the topical treatment group received silver sulfadiazine, a topical antimicrobial product, or no treatment. Wounds in the laser treatment group received treatment with a class 4 laser at 5 or 10 J/cm2 or no treatment. Wound measurements were obtained daily for 14 days. Iguanas were euthanized, and treatment sites were evaluated microscopically to detect ulceration, bacterial contamination, reepithelialization, necrosis, inflammation, fibrosis, and collagen maturity.

RESULTS On day 14, wounds treated with a laser at 10 J/cm2 were significantly smaller than those treated with silver sulfadiazine, but there were no other significant differences among treatments. Histologically, there were no significant differences in ulceration, bacterial infection, reepithelialization, necrosis, inflammation, fibrosis, and collagen maturity among treatments.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Photobiomodulation at 10 J/cm2 appeared to be a safe treatment that was tolerated well by green iguanas, but it did not result in substantial improvement in histologic evidence of wound healing, compared with results for other treatments or no treatment.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Cusack's present address is Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, 298 Sabal Palm Rd, Naples, FL 34114.

Address correspondence to Dr. Cusack (laracusack@gmail.com).