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Wound Healing Part I

Out pets’ skin in composed of layers similar to ours: the epidermis on the outside, the dermis below; the subcutis below that; and fat and muscle below that. Wounds can be sterile, unclean (relatively clean but not sterile), or even heavily contaminated. The body is designed to address all of these situations but sometimes they need our help.

There are four phases of wound healing: Inflammation, debridement, repair, and maturation.

Inflammation (Starts immediately)
This is the first phase of healing and is all about controlling bleeding and activating the immune system. Without too much detail, blood clots are forming and blood vessels are constricting to limit blood loss in the area. This process also calls in “clean up” cells of the immune system to address contaminating bacteria and any dead tissue.

Debridement (Starts in a few hours)
Wound fluid, dead tissue, and immunologic cells form pus, which is designed to flow as a liquid from the wound and carry debris with it. The cells that were called to the wound in the inflammation phase are now actively working on consuming dead tissue and cleansing the area.

Repair (Starts in a couple of days)
Collagen begins to fill in the wound to bind the torn tissues, a process that will take several weeks to complete. New blood vessels begin to grow into the area from the uninjured blood vessels nearby. The wound edge begins to produce granulation tissue, the moist pink tissue that will ultimately fill in the wound. The wound will shrink in a process called wound contraction so that new skin can form and cover it.

Maturation (Starts in 2-3 weeks and can take months or even years)
Once plenty of collagen has been deposited, the final phase of scarring can form. The scar becomes stronger and stronger over time as new blood vessels and nerves grow in and the tissue reorganizes. The final result will never be as strong as un-injured tissue but should ultimately achieve approximately 80% of the original strength.

Check out our website next month for Part 2 of “Wound Healing”

Referenced from http://www.vin.com/

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The Importance of Microchipping Your Pet

Pets can get lost which can be a traumatic and possibly tragic event.  It’s important to have a collar and ID tag, but these are not foolproof.  Collars can break or fall off leaving your pet unidentifiable. This can be prevented with the use of a microchip. As noted in the Dartmouth Tribune in April 2017: A pet is lost every seven seconds One in three pets will go missing in their lifetime Only 2 percent of lost cats and 17 percent of lost dogs with ID return home When a pet gets lost, they are 20 times more likely to make their way back home when they have a microchip A microchip is a small chip that is encoded with a unique identification number.  It is no bigger than a grain of rice and implanted just under the surface of your pet’s skin.  The process is similar to receiving a vaccination through a needle and is virtually painless to pets.  Once implanted, the microchip remains between the shoulder blades just beneath the skin for the rest of the animal’s lifetime, becoming a permanent form of identification. Since it’s under your pets’ skin it can’t break or fall off like a collar or tag. The chip is powered by a scanner which sends a signal to the chip and receives the identification number stored on it.  A vet or shelter can use the scanner to read your pet’s chip.  With the identification number, your pet’s information is a phone call away. When your pet is microchipped, it is linked to a database with your contact info.  It is essential that you register the microchip and ensure your contact information is kept up to date.  If you move or change phone numbers be sure to update your information.  Microchips are reliable and use nationwide registries, but they depend on the information you provide. If you want to improve your chances of getting your pet back home quickly and safely microchipping is highly recommended.   Written by Tracy LeFler, Site Coordinator Edited by Janis Wall, RVT

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