Iowa State University Veterinarian: Volume 10, Issue 1
When experimental surgery on the dog became general, it was soon discovered that occasional infections occurred. Postoperative infections were not new to the veterinary surgeon, but his technic was crude, and he considered most infections the result of wound contamination. In experimental procedures, even when aseptic technic was employed, infection resulted in certain experimental work having to do with obstruction of the small intestine if circulation was inhibited. Bacterial analysis of these wound infections yielded a high percentage of organisms from the Clostridium group. There was much speculation at that time on the manner in which these organisms gained entrance to the body. Early investigators were of the opinion that the animals were eating contaminated food, and the organisms present in the lumen of the bowel found ready accessability to the region where the experimental surgery was performed.
A Shorthorn cow, aged 2 years, was admitted to Stange Memorial Clinic Nov. 7, 1947. The animal was depressed, emaciated, weak and in a very debilitated condition. Examination of the animal revealed the presence of a jagged wound over the anterior medial surface of the pastern area of the left hind leg. There was extreme swelling over the pastern, fetlock, and extending proximally up the leg. The cow was unable to bear any weight on the afflicted leg, and the area was very painful as evidenced by flinching upon palpation of the swelling.
A bay Standardbred mare, 6 years old, was admitted to Stange Memorial Clinic Sept. 22, 1947, with the history that she appeared to be in continuous estrum. Upon examination, it was noted that she strained following each act of urination. A dirty, creamy discharge exuded from the external genitalia and caused "scalding" of the perineum and medial sides of the thighs. Examination of the vagina revealed a thick diphtheritic membrane adherent to the vaginal mucosa. The discharge was due to the chronic necrotic condition of the vaginal mucous membrane.
In all surgery, both animal and human, the suture plays a basic role. To obtain the best possible results the operator should have a profound knowledge of the materials he uses. He should thoroughly understand the effects of all sutures on the tissues in order to select the proper material in each individual instance.