Veterinarians use an experimental skin graft to rescue a dog who suffers from severe burns after a house fire
- A family pet was helped by experimental skin transplants from the descaled cod skin
- The grafts protected the dog, Stella, against infection and helped grow new skin
- Methods will be presented next month as a new way to help animals in need
Researchers say that grafting a fish-skin dog can help her save her life and help alleviate the benefit of a new method of animal care.
After escaping a deadly house fire, vets from the Veterinary Medical Center at Michigan State University (MSU) say Stella, a 1-year-old Rottweiler, has continued to fight for her life.
The family pet was left with second and third degree burns of more than 10 percent of her body and fought off serious respiratory problems due to smoke inhalation and her eyes were covered with ulcers and marked by exposure to heat, they say.
The results of Stella can help other veterinarians to treat injured animals, so the MSU team will present their results next month
While doctors here tried to stabilize by oxygenating her and stabilizing burns in her windpipe and lungs, a team of soft tissues at MSU went to work to repair Stella & # 39; s skin.
Usually skin grafts would require anesthesia, but that was not an option for Stella.
& # 39; We had to get creative with her burns because of the significant trauma to the lungs of Stella & # 39 ;, said Brea Sandness, a veterinarian and surgical resident at MSU in a statement.
& # 39; She was not a great candidate for anesthesia because of her respiratory injuries. & # 39;
However, there was a procedure that Stella could undergo, the vets decided – a new experimental skin graft with descaled cod skin.
The fabric offers several advantages.
Cod skin goes further than other grafts from Tilapia. Instead of just protecting the burned area, the cable skin facilitates the growth of new skin cells
Firstly, due to the high content of omega-3 fatty acids, the tissue acts as an anti-inflammatory and antibiotic, helping to heal the skin and protecting itself against infections.
Secondly, the researchers say that the grafts do not require sedation that affects the respiratory systems in animals and humans.
Stella was rescued by vets who used cod skin to regenerate tissue and protect against infection and burns
& # 39; We were able to place them on her with minimal sedation, allowing us to not only be healed without additional stress to her lungs, but it also improved the way her burns healed, & # 39; said Sandness.
The use of cod skin also has an edge from other similar grafts that are used from fish skin such as Tilapia.
Although Tilapia can be applied to burns and protects the skin beneath during healing, cod skin helps protect burns while forming new skin cells.
Stella's grafts, veterinarians say, were absorbed into new skin.
Researchers hope the method can help future veterinarians to help animals and will present their results at the Society of Veterinary Soft Tissue Surgery convention in June.
& # 39; The Stella case is an inspiration and her grafts have the potential to be a new and highly effective method of treatment in the veterinary profession, & # 39; said Sandness.
& # 39; She is a living example that the fire in her burned stronger than the fire that hurt her. & # 39;
WHAT ARE BURNS?
Burns are damage to the skin caused by dry heat, such as an iron or a fire.
This is different from scalds, which occur as a result of wet heat such as hot water or steam.
Burns can be very painful and can lead to:
- Red or flaking skin
- White or charred skin
But the amount of pain that someone feels is not always related to how severe the burn is.
Even a very serious burn can be painless.
To treat a combustion:
- Remove the heat source
- Cool for 20 minutes with cold or lukewarm running water. Do not use ice
- Remove all nearby clothing or jewelry unless it is attached to the skin
- Keep the person warm with a blanket
- Cover the fire with plastic wrap
- Use painkillers such as paracetamol if necessary
- If the face or eyes are burned, sit up straight to reduce swelling
Burn wounds that require an immediate A&E treatment are:
- Chemical or electrical
- Large or deep – bigger than the injured person's hand
- Those that cause white or charred skin
- Those on the face, hands, limbs, feet or genitals that blow
Pregnant women, children under five, the elderly, people with a weak immune system and people with a medical condition, such as diabetes, must also go to the hospital.
The treatment depends on which layers of the skin are affected.
A skin transplant may be required in severe cases.
Source: NHS Choices
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