Louisiana Dog Is the First Canine To Receive 'Breakthrough' Treatment for Severe Burns
A Louisiana dog who suffered severe burns on more than 70 percent of her body will be the first-ever canine to benefit from a human treatment that can help regrow skin.
Poor Sadie was sleeping in her kennel several weeks ago during a cold snap, WWL reported. A heat lamp was turned on to keep her warm, but it ended up starting a fire when the hay on the floor ignited. The terrier mix wound up with serious burns on her face and lower body.
After the initial treatment, veterinarians have placed Sadie in a clear tube for hyperbaric oxygen therapy. The oxygen inside the tube increases, giving Sadie more air to breathe that then helps her heal. It's helped her tissue heal, but now some human doctors have volunteered to help her get a version of her skin back.
Dr. Jeffery Carter, the medical director of the University Medical Center New Orleans' Burn Center, volunteered to help Sadie. According to WWL, burn surgeons will join veterinary surgeon Dena Lodato to administer the RECELL treatment on the pup's skin.
Here's how the the RECELL treatment, from Avita Medical, treats burned skin: Surgeons collect a "thin" skin graft from a healthy part of the patient's body; a skin sample from the graft is immersed in a heated solution; doctors then separate cells from the immersed skin sample; those cells are then filtered; and the filtered cells are finally sprayed onto the burned skin.
The spray consists of regenerative cells—keratinocytes, fibroblasts, and melanocytes—that then help burns heal. The procedure can take fewer than 30 minutes, WWL reported.
This treatment is different from traditional skin grafts, which require a much larger piece of skin for grafting. The RECELL method needs a much-smaller piece of skin—1 square centimeter—to then generate the spray-on solution that then can treat 80 square centimeters of burned skin.
"This is a breakthrough moment for people in the animal welfare community and really around the country for people who care about pets," Jeff Dorson, executive director of the Humane Society of Louisiana, told WWL.
Sadie will still have a long road ahead of her even if the procedure is successful. Thankfully, No More Pain Rescue plans to work to find her a new home once she's healthy enough.