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Find information on animal health topics, written for the veterinary professional.

Overview of Wound Management

By Kevin P. Winkler, DVM, DACVS, Georgia Veterinary Specialists

Wound healing is the restoration of the normal anatomic continuity to a disrupted area of tissue. An understanding of the normal process of wound healing is essential to make sound decisions in the management of wounds. Correctly using the principles of wound management helps avoid premature wound closure and its potential complications.

Wounds may be classified as clean, contaminated, or infected. Clean wounds are those created under aseptic conditions, eg, surgical incisions. The number of bacteria present can determine the difference between contaminated and infected wounds. As a guideline, >105 bacteria per gram of tissue is considered adequate to cause infection. The level of contamination, blood supply, and the cause of the wound all contribute to development of the necessary conditions for infection, and each case must be assessed individually.