Objective—To evaluate the effects of fascial abrasion, fasciotomy, and fascial excision on cutaneous wound healing in cats.
Animals—Eight 1- to 3-year-old domestic shorthair cats.
Procedures—8 evenly spaced 4-cm2 skin wounds were created on each cat's dorsum, and the underlying subcutaneous tissue was removed to expose the epaxial muscle fascia. Wounds were randomized to receive 1 of 4 treatments (2 wounds/treatment/cat): fascial abrasion, fasciotomy, fascial excision, or control treatment (muscle fascia not disturbed). Bandages were changed and digital photographs and acetate tracings of the wounds were obtained for planimetry daily for 1 week, every other day for 2 weeks, and then every third day for 3 weeks (ie, 40-day observation period). Digitized images were evaluated for granulation tissue formation, wound contraction (surface area measurements), and area of epithelialization.
Results—The epithelialized area and open and total wound areas did not differ among treatments at any time point. Time to the first appearance of granulation tissue was significantly shorter for all treatment groups, compared with that of the control group. Time to achieve granulation tissue coverage of wound base was significantly shorter following fasciotomy (9.6 days) and fascial excision (9.0 days), compared with that of control treatment (18.5 days) or abrasion (16.7 days). Numbers of wounds that developed exuberant granulation tissue following fascial excision (9/16) and control treatment (3/16) differed significantly.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Fasciotomy and fascial excision facilitated early granulation tissue development in cutaneous wounds in cats. In clinical use, these fascial treatments may expedite secondary wound closure or skin grafting.