Wound Management in Exotic Animals

Key Points

  • Concurrent conditions may be life threatening, requiring immediate triage.
  • The goal of wound management is to convert a contaminated wound into a clean, healthy wound that can be closed.
  • Povidone-iodine or chlorhexidine followed with either 70% isopropyl alcohol or saline are commonly used for wound preparation.
  • Begin by scrubbing skin at the wound’s edge, moving away from the lesion in a circumferential pattern towards the periphery.
  • Do not directly scrub lesions as mechanical damage to the tissue can impair infection-fighting properties. Lavage or copiously irrigate the wound instead.
  • Debridement, the removal of dead tissue and foreign debris, is crucial for wound healing. Forms of debridement include surgery, lavage, and/or mechanical techniques such as application of wet-to-dry bandages.
  • Antibiotics are indicated in infected wounds, injuries contaminated by highly pathogenic bacteria such as bite wounds, and in immunocompromised patients such as the very young or patients suffering from starvation or chronic stress.

Traumatic wounds are frequently seen in exotic animals, and are particularly common in wildlife patients. Appropriate wound management of wounds has significant impact on healing time and success . . .

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