One evening we received a phone call about a kitten who accidentally had his back toes caught by a rolling office chair, and now his back toes were bleeding. Just barely 5 weeks old and weighing only one pound, Squirt was a little ball of orange fluff with a big personality. Squirt quickly proved he was a brave little kitten.
Dr. Frye quickly assessed that Squirt had a degloving injury to one of his rear toes. A degloving injury is also called an avulsion which is a type of severe injury that happens when the top layers of the skin and tissue are ripped from the underlying muscle, connective tissue, or bone. This type of injury can be due to shear force on the skin.
This is a painful injury. Dr. Frye acted quickly to address Squirt’s pain. Squirt was administered sedatives so that a thorough exam of the wound could be performed. The wound was then cleaned, debrided of damaged tissue that could not be saved, and bandaged to help prevent infection. Pain medications and antibiotics were sent home.
After waking up from his sedation, Squirt was ready to explore the world. His bandage and Elizabethan collar did not slow him down a bit! His family did their best to keep this spunky kitten calm during recovery. He had other plans; he wanted to explore, climb and do all the wonderful things kittens love to do.
At his check-up, Dr. Frye was very excited to see how well he healed. He was using his foot, climbing, and exploring the room. Not only was Squirt a brave little kitten but he is also a little love bug.
What to do if your pet has a degloving injury:
A degloving injury frequently happens to paws, legs, tails, and face. Quite often it is a result of being dragged, hit by a car, or a body part being caught in something. It is a very painful injury that needs to be seen immediately as an emergency.
Squirt was lucky and had a short recovery period. Quite often the patients will have a much longer recovery period that will need frequent bandage changes, restricted activity, pain and antibiotic medications along with debridement of dead tissue. Owners have to be prepared for wound care that can take weeks, but the good news is that even dramatic degloving injuries can heal with enough time and treatment.