Vet, Mary Salmons, took her dogs away with her for a lovely Christmas break, and when she returned her 6 year old Collie, Diesel, had a slight argument with a piece of flint! The outcome was a badly sliced pad which needed to be sutured back together.
Feet are one of the dirtiest parts of a dog for obvious reasons; they are constantly in contact with the ground and always picking up mud and dirt therefore any wounds can be at risk of becoming infected. Infection not only slows the healing process down but in some cases can also result in tissue dying off and needing to be removed.
Once Diesel was anaesthetised the fur around his wound was clipped away. The wound and surrounding skin was then scrubbed with Hibiscrub to ensure the operation site remained clean and at minimal risk of any fur contaminating it. Mary then began debriding the wound, cutting away damaged/dead tissue from the wound edges as this would prevent the skin edges from coming together and healing, she then sutured the new skin edges together with a dissolvable suture material. Using dissolvable sutures means that they do not have to be removed, unless they start to cause irritation, and can be left in place to dissolve naturally over a matter of weeks.
Finally Diesel’s foot was dressed with a standard small bandage to help ensure the wound stayed clean during the initial stages of healing, and also to reduce the pressure on the wound when standing as this can cause the sutures to become strained and potentially more painful.