Wound management 2 – Penetrating injuries in dogs
Penetrating wounds are often deceiving! An innocuous-looking skin puncture may overlie tissue that has been significantly compromised by strong forces, vascular damage, and/or inoculation of bacteria or foreign material.
When presented with a bite or bullet wound case, think “iceberg”: a small amount of surface damage often belies a large amount of damage in the deeper tissues!
Endoscopy allows early detection of esophageal perforations before clinical signs appear.
Penetrating wounds should be opened, explored, debrided, and lavaged; they are usually then best managed as open wounds. If wounds require closure, they should be closed over a drain.
If there is a penetrating wound (or suspicion thereof) or significant crush injury to the abdomen, exploratory celiotomy is indicated.
Foreign objects lodged in the body are best removed via a surgical approach in an operating theatre with an anesthetized, fully prepared patient.