The Tale of ‘Maximus’
‘Maximus’ a 7.5-week-old Rottweiler puppy came to the emergency department at Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Hospital of Wichita. His owners suspected he had been attacked by a wild animal and his left distal forelimb was mutilated.
Maximus was stabilized and treated for shock and pain, and the wound was clipped, cleaned, debrided, and bandaged. Since dogs bear approximately 60% of their weight on the forelimbs and due to his impending future larger size as a Rottweiler, his owners wanted to see what could be done to save the leg, in lieu of a forelimb amputation.
A surgical consultation was obtained with Dr. Heather Millard, who specializes in wound care. A portion of the carpal pad (paw pad) was pale and fragile but still present. The viability was unknown at this point, and the wound was malodorous at the initial consult.
There are three bones that make up each dog toe, called phalanges. Maximus’ partially remaining phalanges were not viable, so they were removed. We began aggressive wound care with daily wet-to-dry bandages.
On day 13 post injury, we were delighted to find a portion of the carpal pad was obviously viable. Once a healthy bed of granulation tissue was present, we began alternating topical wound dressings between Purocol Plus Ag+ and Mepiplex. Both of these topical dressings are used in human wound management. Purocol Plus Ag+ helps promote healing with type I collagen formation, disrupts bacteria metabolism, including MRSA, and easily conforms to wound surfaces. Mepiplex is a self-adherent dressing that helps promote epithelialization and is also anti-bacterial.
With a very diligent owner, Maximus’ wound healed and he has very limited lameness, despite missing all phalanges!
As Maximus grows, he may need a more robust boot, but currently, he is doing fantastic!!