The integument is one of the largest body organs, comprising approximately 12% of an adult dog’s body weight. The viscoelastic properties of skin are determined by the combination of its fluid viscosity and the elastic properties of the dermal proteins; collagenous, reticular and elastic fibres (Pavletic, 2003). These dermal fibres are surrounded by a mucopolysaccharide ground substance made up of hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulfuric acid.
Understanding Wound Healing is vital to preparing a surgical approach for closure. Wound healing has been conceptually divided into several phases:
1. Initial response to trauma – haemorrhage, coagulation and initiation of repair process
2. Inflammatory or debridement phase – involves the initial vascular and cellular response to trauma
3. Proliferative or repair phase – incorporates the processes of angiogenesis, fibroplasia, contraction and epithelialisation
4. Maturation phase – remodeling of connective tissue. .
Ideally skin sutures should be placed only to oppose the skin edges. Ideally there should be no tension.
Relieve your tension – learn to close wounds at the VetPrac Surgical Wound Management Workshop.
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