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Sunny - saved at the last minute

 

 
By: Dr. Eran Green
 

The story of a remarkable dermatological recovery

 

This is the story of Sunny, a female Pekinese dog aged 6, usually healthy, living a calm and pleasant life with her owners.

On 18/10/09 Sunny came to our clinic suffering massive skin damage: most of the left side of her body was exposed (without the skin). The skin around the lesion was highly inflamed and would easily tear off. Sunny was looking very ill and suffered terrible pain.

The medical history of the dog was relayed to us by her owners: Sunny is usually healthy and regularly vaccinated. 2 weeks prior to her arrival at our clinic, Sunny suffered an episode of diarrhea and was treated with antibiotics. For the last 10 days she had suffered unspecific pain and had difficulties walking. She was taken to 3 different vets, received various types of antibiotics and steroids and underwent a surgery that didn’t succeed. In the last two days more and more abscesses started appearing on Sunny's skin. She was taken to the veterinary hospital in Beit Dagan, but the doctors there couldn’t find a solution that would satisfy the owner. Her owners was near despair but before giving up (and performing euthanasia!!!), the owner called "let live" (Tnu Lahayot Lihyot) association, and was advised by Ms. Eti Altman, spokesperson of the association, to visit Dr. Doron Neri for a second opinion.

By now Sunny's skin was in awful condition. A violent bacteria had caused severe infection and severe loss of skin. (See picture no.1)     

Dr. Neri preformed a full exam that included culture and sensitivity testing of the inflamed tissue and a series of x-rays to make sure there is no internal damage. The dog was treated with special antibiotics and was bandaged in a way that covered nearly her entire body .It was agreed that once Sunny's condition stabilizes, she will undergo surgery to correct the large skin defect.  The surgery was scheduled for October 25. To the request of Eti Altman and with financial aid from "let live" association Dr. Neri agreed to preform the surgery at minimum cost.   

Picture number 1:     Sunny on the day of surgery, before skin defect correction, note the large size of the infected area.  

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 The main problem facing the surgical staff (Dr. Neri and Dr. Inbar Israeli) was the size of the infected area. There was great doubt whether or not it is possible to cover the entire defect and if the skin is strong and viable enough to recover. Also, there was still a need to overcome the infection.The dog underwent skin reconstruction surgery under general anesthesia: the inflamed skin was disinfected and stitched and several drains were placed to drain the puss and fluids. (picture no 2). The surgical cut was stitched closed almost completely except for a small area at the front section of the cut that was left for second intention healing. 

Picture number 2:  Sunny at the end of the surgery    

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Sunny's recovery was fast. Within a day of the surgery she was feeling much better, started eating and was looking vital and happy. Her skin condition had improved amazingly:      

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Once the wound stopped secreting, the drains were removed :         

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On the 16th of November, about 3 weeks after surgery, and with the completion of the scaring process the stitches were removed. The area had healed beautifully, Sunny was back to her normal, happy self.       

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It's hard to determine what caused Sunny's condition to deteriorate so dramatically. The inflammation that did not respond to treatment may have been caused by a violent strain of bacteria, or maybe in a rare case the dog was sensitive to the one of the antibiotics. However we can determine that hadn't the surgery and treatment been successful the owner would have put Sunny to sleep, and that Sunny gained back her life in the nick of time. And were it not for "let live" and Eti Altman's turning to us, the end of this story wouldn't have been so good.

But in this case – "All's Well That Ends Well"!!!! 

And about Eti Altman – "There are people that make the world a better place only by their existence".