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Pad grafts would be indicated in instances of severe paw trauma when there has been loss of the major weight-bearing pads (ie, metatarsal and metacarpal pads) as well as loss of the digital pads. A practical technique for replacing pad tissue on the remaining paw tissue could avert limb amputation for lack of weight-bearing tissue in the area.

Small segmental digital pad grafts were placed in granulation tissue beds in dogs. Although the grafts were from thick pad skin, they healed well. However, intervening wound areas did not become covered with the heavier keratinized epithelium of the pads. The thinner, more rapidly growing, less keratinized epithelium from the wound edges covered most of the wound.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


After removal of 1 metatarsal pad and formation of a granulation tissue bed, free segmental 6- × 8-mm grafts from digital pads were sutured into recessed same-size recipient sites in the granulation tissue. In 5 dogs, the grafted area had been denervated by excision of a segment of the tibial nerve at the level of the tarsus. The grafted area was not denervated in the remaining 5 dogs. In both groups of dogs, the grafts placed around the periphery of the wound healed, blocked ingrowth of delicate epithelium from the surrounding skin, and provided a tough keratinized epithelium that covered the wound's center. As healing progressed, the grafts coalesced as the wounds contracted. Weight bearing resulted in graft expansion to provide functional weight-bearing tissue.

Dogs of the denervated group had clinical and histologic evidence of collateral sensory reinnervation of the denervated area. However, with the exception of 1 dog, results of sensory nerve action potential tests indicated that reinnervation may not have been by way of regeneration across the excisional gap in the nerve.

Evaluation of reinnervation of the tibial autonomous zone in 2 additional dogs revealed clinical evidence that collateral reinnervation began between 19 and 28 days after nerve excision and progressed proximad to distad. Results of sensory nerve action potential tests indicated that reinnervation may not have been via regeneration across the excision site. Results of fluorescent tracer studies did not have positive findings regarding the route of collateral reinnervation.

Segmental paw pad grafts can be used effectively to provide weight-bearing tissue on a dog's limb. With local nerve damage on the distal portion of the limb, collateral innervation can grow into the area to reinnervate tissues, including pad grafts.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research



To ascertain the effects of dietary omega-3 (n-3) fatty acids on biochemical and histopathologic components of the inflammatory stage of wound healing.


30 purpose-bred Beagles.


Dogs were allotted to 5 groups of 6. Each group was fed a unique dietary fatty acid ratio of omega-6 to n-3—diet A, 5.3:1; diet B, 10.4:1; diet C, 24.1:1; diet D, 51.6:1; and diet E, 95.8:1. Dogs were fed once daily for 12 weeks, then biopsy specimens were taken from 4-day-old wounds of each dog and analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry for: prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) metabolites, and ratios of omega-6 to n-3 fatty acids, arachidonic acid (AA) to eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), adrenic acid to docosahexaenoic acid, and PGE2 to prostaglandin E3 (PGE3) metabolites.


Qualitative analysis was carried out on AA, EPA, adrenic acid, docosahexaenoic acid, and the major metabolite from the PGE2 and PGE3 pathway. These molecules were further quantified with respect to diet to determine significant differences. By analysis of the AA-to-EPA ratio, diet A was different from diets D and E and diets B and C were different from diet E (P < 0.05). By analysis of the PGE2-to-PGE3 metabolite ratio, diet A was different from diet E (P < 0.05). Though biochemical analysis indicated dietary dependence, histopathologic data indicated no significant difference with respect to diet groups.


The biochemical component of the inflammatory stage of wound healing can be manipulated by diet.

Clinical Relevance

Omega-3 fatty acid-enriched diets can be used to control inflammation associated with dermatologic conditions. (Am J Vet Res 1998;59:859–863)

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research