Traumatic Wounds – treated with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy.
Shadow was very unsettled after moving house in 2007. She kept running away – back to her old house and went missing for 6 weeks, early in 2009. A previous neighbour found her outside on his deck. He noticed Shadow had a massive wound on the underside of the belly and down between the back legs. So he got on the phone and called the 24/7 team at Town and Country Vet.
Shadow was admitted to the McGlashen Ave clinic on 22nd February 2009 – it was Dr Llyn Powell’s day on hospital cases. He thoroughly checked out poor old Shadow (8 years old at the time). She was very weak, could barely walk and her life was obviously in the balance. Fortunately she still had some appetite. The wound was badly contaminated with dirt and had the nasty look and smell of gangrene. All the abdominal muscles were intact but the subcutaneous fat and skin in the area had been shredded. Shadow was put on an IV drip and given a general anaesthetic. The necrotic tissue was removed and the wound cleaned and flushed with antibiotics. The wound was closed as much as possible with several Penrose drains put in place. She was maintained on intravenous fluids and given broad spectrum antibiotics overnight.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) Dr Powell was aware that there had been good reports of success managing big infected wounds in people using. After surgery Shadow recovered well and while still sleepy Dr Powell elected to give her a session in the HBOT chamber. Annette, Town and Country’s Head Nurse laid Shadow down on a blanket in the warm chamber and the black cat snored off into a deep slumber. One hour later, when it was over, Shadow emerged bright, alert, full of life giving oxygen and unbelievably perky – and hungry! We were all impressed.
Shadow stayed in the hospital overnight. The following day she spiked a temperature, was off her food and the swab of the wound from the previous day showed a positive for both aerobic and anaerobic bacteria. Not the best of news but not unexpected – so it was back into the chamber for 2 HBOT sessions that day and continuing on with fluids and antibiotics. This pattern of twice daily HBOT continued for the next 10 days or so and Annette noted that after each oxygen therapy session Shadow’s appetite seemed to imporve for a few hours.