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A primer on veterinary open wound management

FirstlineFirstline July/August 2020
Volume 16
Issue 4

You have an open wound come into your practice. Your first temptation is to close it right up. But you might want to wait a few days first, suggests Dr. Bronwyn Fullagar.

Not all wounds should be closed right away-instead consider keeping some of them open while you evaluate. Bronwyn Fullagar, BVSc, MS, DACVS, says that the temptation can be to close wounds first, but you should allow yourself a little time. Think of it, she says, as a “long-term project rather than a short-term fix.”

What you want to achieve in your open wound is a healthy bed of granulation tissue. Once you've achieved that granulation bed, you have options for closing the wound over it.

In general, if the wound isn't an acute onset and clean, don't stitch it up on day one. Wait even just a few days. “Let the tissue kind of declare itself,” says Dr. Fullagar. This allows you the chance to determine what's healthy and what's not before closing it up.

Get more of her thoughts on open wound management in the video, shot at Fetch dvm360 conference in Kansas City, below.

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