Case Report: Use of a nanocrystalline silver dressing and vacuum-assisted closure in a severely burned dog


  • The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to
Dr. Colleen Mullally, Advanced Critical Care, City of Angels Veterinary Specialty Center, 9599 Jefferson Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232, USA. Email: Submitted September 24, 2009; Accepted May 31, 2010.


Objective – To describe the first veterinary use of a nanocrystalline silver dressing (NSD) and use of vacuum-assisted closure (VAC) to treat a severely burned dog.

Case or Series Summary – A 1-year-old female intact American Staffordshire Terrier with 50% total body surface area burned was referred for definitive care approximately 18–24 hours post injury. The dog was treated with crystalloid fluids, hydroxyethyl starch, and antimicrobials based on culture and sensitivity results of wound cultures, fresh frozen plasma, human serum albumin, and packed red cells. Wound care initially consisted of daily debridement under anesthesia with silver sulfadiazine application and bandaging. Because of the extent and the location of the wounds and morbid state of the patient, early wound grafting was not an option. Because of its reported improvement in granulation tissue formation and decreased tissue edema, VAC was used once the majority of burned tissue was manually debrided. Because of the pain caused by VAC and traditional bandaging techniques with this extent of injury, an NSD was utilized. This strategy was chosen due to the antimicrobial properties of NSD and the reduced necessity for daily bandage changes, which was reduced to only every 3 days. This protocol reduced the need for daily sedation or anesthesia.

New or Unique Information Provided – VAC and NSD were used successfully for the treatment of a severe burn injury in a dog. The use of NSD decreased the cost of therapy by reducing the need for daily bandage changes, thereby reducing the anesthetic and analgesic costs and allowing the patient to be managed on an outpatient basis.