Warning: Some people may find the images in this post disturbing.
Because of their fur, dogs can’t receive skin grafts like humans can. That makes veterinary treatment for severe burns a much greater challenge. Thanks to a team of caring people and medical experts, one injured dog is the first of her kind to receive a live-saving burn treatment.
When a heat lamp meant to keep her warm caused hay in her kennel to catch fire, poor Sadie suffered burns on 70 percent of her body. Because her family could not afford the life-saving treatments, she was surrendered to the Humane Society of Louisiana. They brought her to Dr. Liza Ledet at Mandeville Animal Hospital.
Dr. Ledet then referred Sadie to Resurge Veterinary Surgical Specialists and Rehabilitation in Covington for hyperbaric oxygen treatments and advanced wound care.
Meanwhile, the Medical Director of the UMCNO Burn Center in New Orleans, Dr. Jeffrey Carter, offered to help with groundbreaking burn treatment technology he uses on his human patients: The RECELL® System. The drug manufacturer AVITA also heard Sadie’s story and donated the $8,000 kit.
About The Recell Treatment
The RECELL® System is a device that uses a small sample of a patient’s skin to produce Spray-On Skin™ cells. This helps regenerate the outer layer of skin in burn victims. Before Sadie, this treatment has only been used on humans. Though she can’t receive skin grafts, she can now get treatment beyond pain medications.
Dr. Dena Lodato, small animal boarded surgeon at Resurge Veterinary Surgical Specialists and Rehabilitation, remarked what an amazing treatment this is (especially for a dog):
“I thought it was the coolest thing, because in veterinary medicine unfortunately we’re decades behind human medicine.”
Sadie is now making medical history as the first dog ever to receive spray-on cells. Jeff Dorson, Executive Director of the Humane Society of Louisiana, noted:
“This is a breakthrough moment for people in the animal welfare community and really around the country for people who care about pets.”
Teamwork Heals Sadie
Miraculous medicine aside, Sadie had so many people looking out for her after her accident. Collaboration between animal rescuers, veterinarians, and burn surgeons gave Sadie a chance she would never have had otherwise. RVSSR wrote on Facebook:
“Without this team approach to animal health care we wouldn’t be able to help as many pets as we do.”
Dr. Nicole Kopari, general surgeon and surgical critical care specialist, said she was glad to work with veterinarians for Sadie:
“I just really want people to know that we are here for them. We’re here for the community, and our care for these patients extends much beyond just the hospital, even to their pets.”
After Sadie heals, she’ll find a home through The No Pain Rescue group in New Jersey. Recovery will be a long process, but brave Sadie is in good hands. According to updates from the Humane Society of Louisiana, she’s doing much better. If you want to help, you can donate to Sadie’s care on the Humane Society’s website or through PayPal at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hopefully, more incredible treatments for humans will be available to dogs as well! Dr. Kopari added:
“We all go into medicine to really, you know to take care of people and to have people have really good outcomes you know and oftentimes animals are extensions of our family.”