Graft of Small Patch of Partial Thickness in Equine Wound
AbstractBackground: Cutaneous wounds in locomotor limbs represent one of the most frequent disorders in equine medicine. Wounds in equines are distinguished from those in other species by unique characteristics, including different healing rates among breeds, wound location and high propensity to formation of exuberant granulation tissue during the healing process. The wound healing process that cannot be sutured can be accelerated by the use of skin grafts, lowering the treatment cost.
The objective of this report was to divulgate the success upon treatment of an extensive lacerated wound in the metatarsal region of a horse using autologous skin grafts.
Case: A 3-year-old, female, American quarter horse weighting 450 kg was brought to veterinary hospital with lower limb injury. According to the owner’s report, the animal had one of its limbs stuck in a plain wire fence. A wound was observed in the metatarsal region during physical examination, the lesion caused an extensive skin laceration that showed the dorsal surface of the metatarsal bone and the digital extensor tendon. After injury assessment, wound debridement was carried out by surgery intervention followed by antisepsis and application of autologous plasma every two days as post-surgical care and wound preparation to receive the graft. Forty-five days after the first intervention, grafts were collected from the neck and implanted in the wound. The procedure achieved 70% of success. After approximately 75 days, transplantation was performed in other regions of the wound using the same technique. The duration of treatment at the Veterinary Hospital of the Universidade Paranaense (UNIPAR) was eight months, and then the animal returned home, where dressings were applied for two months to avoid the risk of contamination and until complete recovery.
Discussion: The debridement of the wound and edges approximation were of great value in order to begin the process of wound granulation. The established therapy with scarring with gauze and use of antiseptics only in the initial stages of treatment, the frequent exchange of bandages every two days, preventing the accumulation of exudate and the use of autologous plasma favored the formation of the granulation bed and was sufficient to avoid infection and the formation of exuberant granulation tissue. Factors such as excessive movement and local infection were also attributed as responsible for the longer healing period, so the use of the spring coupled to the horseshoe decreased the joint movement, proving to
be effective in patients with severe extensor tendon lacerations. The use of the spring coupled to the horseshoe promoted a correct biomechanical alignment and no walking complication or deficiency was observed. The correct anatomical structural positioning prevents the formation of flexural deformities and fibrosis of the joint capsule. The use of micrografts was
beneficial and simple to perform and the use of grafts contributed to a better cosmetic result. The main factor contributed to the grafting success was the use of dressing, which was regularly changed, and topical antimicrobial therapy correctly applied to avoid contamination. Based on the clinical result of this patient, it was concluded that the use of small autologous grafts can provide good recovery and healing of extensive wounds in horses when proper care with dressings and antimicrobial medication is provided after surgical interventions.
Keywords: equine, surgery, graft, healing.
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