2001-Thu Sep 21 03:05:13 EDT 2017
Vetstreet. All rights reserved. Powered by Brightspot.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
A laceration usually occurs as the result of a sharp object penetrating the skin and, possibly, the tissues beneath the skin. The resulting wound may be superficial, which involves a cut or tear in the skin only, or it may be deep, with damage to the tissues below the skin, such as muscles, tendons, blood vessels, or nerves. To repair a laceration, a veterinarian must clean and assess the wound before bringing the cut edges together with either suture material or skin staples.
If your pet has a laceration, see your veterinarian immediately. The longer the time between injury and repair, the more likely the tissues will become infected and healing will be delayed. Infections must be resolved before the laceration is repaired, to prevent bacteria from becoming trapped under the skin and forming an abscess (a localized area of pus and inflammation).
The skin may also contract and form scar tissue over time, which can make it more difficult to bring the tissue edges together. Prompt treatment will enable the veterinarian to determine if there is internal damage to bones and other structures that may not be visible on the surface.
A laceration repair can be a minor surgery if the laceration is small or a major surgery if the laceration is large, deep, or infected. Superficial cuts can sometimes be repaired using local anesthetics, which affect only the area of the wound. However, thorough cleaning and exploration of lacerations usually require general (full) anesthesia of the pet. This allows immobilization of the area and minimizes stress and pain for the pet.
The veterinarian will clean the laceration and evaluate the extent of injury. In some cases, radiographs (x-rays) may be required to make sure there is no internal damage. The laceration is then repaired by bringing the ends of the severed tissue together with sutures (stitches) or skin staples. Deep wounds may require the placement of a temporary drain to prevent fluid buildup as the laceration heals.
Your pet may need to wear an Elizabethan collar to prevent licking or chewing of the surgical site until it is healed. Sometimes bandages or other protective coverings are used to protect the area after surgery. Pain medications or antibiotics may also be prescribed if needed.
A laceration repair will help the severed tissues heal faster, with less likelihood of infection or excessive scar tissue. If tissues beneath the skin, such as muscles and tendons, have been damaged, the repair should help ensure that your pet regains full function of these tissues.
This article has been reviewed by a Veterinarian.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Bartonella is a type bacteria that can be transmitted to cats, dogs and humans from exposure to infected fleas and…
Want to give your pup yummy, low-calorie treats? We’ve got the skinny on which foods are OK to feed him.
Not sure about food puzzles? Our veterinarian reveals why the payoff for your pet is well worth any extra work.
With these simple dental care tips, you can help keep your canine’s adorable smile shiny and healthy for life.
The friendly and inquisitive LaPerm has an easy-care coat that comes in a variety of colors and patterns.
Check out our collection of more than 250 videos about pet training, animal behavior, dog and cat breeds and more.
Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? Our new tool will narrow down more than 300 breeds for you.
Thank you for subscribing.