Caster, a very handsome seven-year-old Husky, found his forever home in New Orleans when he was three months old. His family wondered if he even knew he was a Husky, though, as he loves to lay in the sun and directly in front of the fireplace. He hates being in the rain, jumps over puddles, and tries to avoid wet grass, which is unfortunate because he lives in Washington now!

Late last year, Caster had a 10cm mass removed at his regular veterinarian that wasn’t healing well, despite antibiotic therapy. The incision site began to dehiscence, which is a surgical complication where the edges of a wound no longer meet, so he was seen by our emergency department for treatment. Upon evaluation, the wound was found to be quite extensive, and the majority of the surrounding tissue was becoming necrotic and infected. A veterinary surgeon would need to be involved at this point to remove the unhealthy tissue and give him the best chance of healing. He was seen by Dr. Alaina Andersen and her surgery team to come up with the best treatment plan.

Under anesthesia, Dr. Andersen was able to debride (remove) the damaged tissue. While his wound was much larger than what was seen when he first arrived at the Animal Medical Center of Seattle, it was required to fully remove the unhealthy surrounding tissue. The healing process would be quite extensive since there was no way to suture the tissue together. Instead, open wound management was decided upon. Open wound management would involve frequent bandaged changes with a special bandage material to keep the wound clean and ensure it is healing properly. This process can take several months.

After each bandage change, Dr. Andersen called to explain Caster’s progress, review the next steps, and answer his family’s questions. The team was so vested in his healing process that they helped with his emergency late-night bandage changes too. Caster is terrified of every veterinarian, groomer, and boarding facility that his family has ever taken him to. He’s even afraid of plastic bags blowing in the wind! But he strolls into the Animal Medical Center of Seattle like he owns the place.

Caster continues with his healing process, but his wound looks better and better each visit. However, he is on exercise restriction while the new tissue forms; we are hopeful that he will be able to return to normal activities soon, which include catching flies and convincing cats that he just wants to play.