To compare the application and healing of the zip skin closure system (ZSCS) with sutured closure by use of a split-scar model of ventral midline incisions in horses in a prospective, randomized experimental study.
8 adult horses.
All horses underwent an exploratory ventral midline celiotomy with a standardized 30-cm skin incision. Each horse was randomized to have either the cranial 15 cm closed with suture and caudal 15 cm with the ZSCS or vice versa (split-scar model). Skin closure time was recorded and compared. Photography and skin biopsies were taken preoperatively and 14 days postoperatively. Cosmetic appearance was assessed by use of a proposed equine celiotomy incision score. Healing at 14 days was assessed by histopathology.
Skin closure times were faster with the ZSCS compared to sutured incisions. At 14 days postoperatively, the cosmetic appearance (equine celiotomy incision scores) for ZSCS incisions were better than sutured closure and histologic healing scores were not different between methods of closure. Subcuticular sutures were associated with deep dermal inflammation and necrosis independent of epidermal closure methods.
While limitations to the utility of the ZSCS are recognized, the potential benefits of expedient closure, good cosmetic outcome, and satisfactory healing make this method viable for closure of linear wounds or incisions in horses.