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Use of vacuum-assisted closure for management of a large skin wound in a cat

April E. Guille DVM1, Laura W. Tseng DVM, DACVECC2, and Robert J. Orsher VMD, DACVS3
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  • 1 Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center, 1900 W Old Lincoln Hwy, Langhorne, PA 19047
  • | 2 Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center, 1900 W Old Lincoln Hwy, Langhorne, PA 19047
  • | 3 Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center, 1900 W Old Lincoln Hwy, Langhorne, PA 19047

Abstract

Case Description—A 9-month-old domestic shorthair cat was evaluated after being struck by a car.

Clinical Findings—The cat had a fractured tibia and avulsion of the tail base. Motor and deep pain sensation were absent from the tail. The fractured tibia was repaired 2 days after the trauma. On the third day, the cat developed tachypnea, dyspnea, high serum urea nitrogen and total bilirubin concentrations, epistaxis, persistent hypotension, and oliguria. The cat recovered with supportive care but developed extensive necrosis of the skin on the dorsum by 9 days after the initial trauma.

Treatment and Outcome—The skin was debrided from the caudal portion of the scapula to the anus and down each pelvic limb to the level of the distal portion of the femur. The tail was amputated. Wet-to-dry bandages were applied to the wound for 3 days. Approximately 50% of the wound underwent delayed primary closure, and the remainder was managed with vacuum-assisted closure. A healthy granulation bed was quickly established. Vacuum-assisted closure was also applied after graft application. Graft acceptance was 100%, and use of the vacuum-assisted closure bandage was not associated with the complications associated with the traditional bandage.

Clinical Relevance—Vacuum-assisted closure is a useful, easily applicable technique for open and grafted wounds, even when wounds are in challenging anatomic locations.

Abstract

Case Description—A 9-month-old domestic shorthair cat was evaluated after being struck by a car.

Clinical Findings—The cat had a fractured tibia and avulsion of the tail base. Motor and deep pain sensation were absent from the tail. The fractured tibia was repaired 2 days after the trauma. On the third day, the cat developed tachypnea, dyspnea, high serum urea nitrogen and total bilirubin concentrations, epistaxis, persistent hypotension, and oliguria. The cat recovered with supportive care but developed extensive necrosis of the skin on the dorsum by 9 days after the initial trauma.

Treatment and Outcome—The skin was debrided from the caudal portion of the scapula to the anus and down each pelvic limb to the level of the distal portion of the femur. The tail was amputated. Wet-to-dry bandages were applied to the wound for 3 days. Approximately 50% of the wound underwent delayed primary closure, and the remainder was managed with vacuum-assisted closure. A healthy granulation bed was quickly established. Vacuum-assisted closure was also applied after graft application. Graft acceptance was 100%, and use of the vacuum-assisted closure bandage was not associated with the complications associated with the traditional bandage.

Clinical Relevance—Vacuum-assisted closure is a useful, easily applicable technique for open and grafted wounds, even when wounds are in challenging anatomic locations.

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Guille.