Louie is a beautiful and beloved Bearded Collie who came to see Dermatology for Animals after a mysterious wound appeared on the inside of his right front leg. Numerous different treatments had been tried, but there was no response and his wound was continuing to get bigger and bigger. The owners and the veterinarian who referred the case were very frustrated with poor Louie’s wound.
On Louie’s initial examination it was obvious that his wound was very painful. Louie had a bad limp on his right front leg with two ulcerations on the inside of this leg. His leg was swollen to about twice its normal size. Our first step was to take a small piece of tissue from the leg to send it to a histopathologist. She examined the tissue with a microscope to determine the cause. Another piece of tissue was also sent to the laboratory for a culture and sensitivity to determine the appropriate antibiotic for Louie’s wound.
The results showed a deep pyogranulomatous dermopanniculitis, which means there was a very deep and severe inflammation in the tissue and a secondary infection. Louie’s infection was resistant to most of the common antibiotics, so he had to be started on a specific antibiotic for his infection, which was determined from the culture and sensitivity tests performed earlier.
Louie was lucky because he had very committed owners who were willing to do whatever necessary to make Louie better. The owner’s brought Louie to our hospital every other day to have Louie’s bandage changed. The wound, however, continued to get larger. This was due to the severe inflammation in Louie’s leg, which caused the tissue to become necrotic or dead around the ulcers. That tissue had to be slowly removed to allow the body to continue to heal.
Finally, one month after Louie’s first visit, all of the necrotic tissue was gone and healthy tissue was present. This healthy tissue is called a granulation bed. It allows the body to start rebuilding itself and this was exactly what Louie began doing.
Louie’s owners continued to bring him in for bandage changes and now sugar was being placed on the wounds to keep the tissue free of bacteria and to help continue the healing process. We were finally starting to see the epithelium (skin) start to cover the wound.
Since Louie’s wound was getting smaller and the owners had been taught how to perform bandage changes, they began doing them at home and Louie only had to come to the hospital once a week to monitor his progress.
After almost four months of treatment, Louie’s bandage changes were over and he was back to his normal life. This included of all his favorite activities including daily walks, playing with his brother and his favorite digging holes in the back yard!
Louie came to see Dermatology for Animals last week and we are glad to say he looks great! He is happy and healthy and has had no problems since his last visit.
There are many factors that played a role in getting Louie better. This included getting a correct diagnosis, starting appropriate treatment and the most important, having loving committed owners that were willing to dedicate a large amount of time to his care.
Written by: Rose I. Miller, DVM