To evaluate the time and number of laser beam passes required to make full-thickness skin incisions and extent of laser-induced tissue artifacts following use of a CO2 laser at various settings.
24 skin specimens from six 5-month-old porcine carcasses.
4 full-thickness skin specimens were harvested from the flank regions of each carcass within 30 minutes after euthanasia and randomly assigned to 4 treatment groups. Three 5-cm-long incisions were made in each specimen with a CO2 laser (beam diameter, 0.4 mm) set to deliver a continuous wave of energy alone (groups 1 and 2) or in superpulse mode (groups 3 and 4) at 10 (groups 1 and 3) or 20 (groups 2 and 4) W of power. The time and number of passes required to achieve a full-thickness incision were recorded, and extent of laser-induced tissue artifact (as determined by histologic evaluation) was compared among the 4 groups.
Mean time required to make a full-thickness skin incision for groups 2 and 4 (power, 20 W) was significantly less than that for groups 1 and 3 (power, 10 W). Mean number of passes was lowest for group 2 (continuous wave at 20 W). Extent of laser-induced tissue artifact was greatest for group 4 (superpulse mode at 20 W).
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
Results provided preliminary information regarding use of CO2 lasers to make skin incisions in veterinary patients. In vivo studies are necessary to evaluate the effect of various CO2 laser settings on tissue healing and patient outcome.
4 alpacas and 2 llamas (11 months to 11 years old) from 2 properties were examined for lethargy (6/6), salivation and regurgitation (4/6), and recumbency (3/6). Signs developed approximately 48 to 72 hours after accidental access to black oil sunflower seeds.
3 alpacas died suddenly prior to treatment and were necropsied. One llama survived, and 1 alpaca and 1 llama died after days of medical treatment. All 3 treated animals had systemic inflammatory signs including tachycardia, fever, and hematologic changes. Biochemical anomalies included azotemia, hyperglycemia, hyponatremia, hypochloremia, and hypoalbuminemia. Necropsy identified numerous sunflower seeds in the gastrointestinal tract of all 5 animals that died, with pulmonary congestion (5/5 animals), mild centrilobular vacuolar hepatic degeneration (4/5), and erosions of the esophagus (3/5) and first (3/5) and third (1/5) compartments of the forestomach. Renal tubular necrosis was found in the 2 animals that died on day 4 of treatment.
TREATMENT AND OUTCOME
One llama responded successfully to intensive medical management including supplemented IV fluid therapy, oral and partial parenteral nutrition, and administration of antimicrobials, furosemide, and insulin and was clinically normal with plasma biochemical analysis values within reference range 12 weeks later. Vitamin D, oxalates, heavy metals, and mycotoxins were excluded as the cause of clinical signs on the basis of screening of uneaten seeds and tissue samples and gastric content from the treated llama that died.
Inadvertent large volume black oil sunflower seed ingestion resulted in a high mortality rate in camelids. A specific toxic principle was not identified. Feeding this product to camelids is not recommended to avoid the risk of accidental overingestion and subsequent disease. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2021;259:406–414)