Intervention Protocol for Management of Traumatic Wounds in Dogs
Principal Investigator: Galina Hayes
Co-PI: Nathan Peterson
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant):
Traumatic lacerations to the skin in dogs represent a fairly common reason for seeking veterinary primary or emergency care. Typically, the patient is sedated, the fur around the wound is shaved, and the wound is examined, cleaned, and probed. If it has been more than 6 hours since the wound occurred, some practitioners may manage the wound with bandages for several days before closure. At the time of closure, the wound is flushed with sterile saline and closed with suture. The patient is sent home with a course of broad spectrum antibiotics. Sutures are removed 10 to 14 days later. In general, these injuries carry a good prognosis but treatment can be costly. Faced with high estimates of cost for medical care, some owners may elect not to treat, with resulting pain and increased complications for the animal, or to euthanize. While there is ever present pressure for practitioners to provide only the ‘best’ medical care, there is increasing evidence from multiple clinical trials performed in humans that some of the components of the current care standard for management of these injuries may in fact represent over treatment, and that equivalent and possibly even improved outcomes can be achieved with lower cost, more resource and time efficient interventions. The goal of this trial is to establish that outcomes following management of traumatic lacerations with a lower cost protocol are equivalent or better to those achieved with the current higher cost protocol.