Stella was just a one-year-old pup when she ran out of a house that was on fire. However, she was so badly burned that she had to be kept in a specially made oxygen saturated kennel for half a month. Fortunately, Stella was able to make a full recovery and that is all thanks to a brand new skin graft that might very well be the next big thing in modern veterinary medicine.
Madison Darmer, the daughter of Stella’s owner, set up a GoFundMe for her and wrote about her experience. Their house had started burning when no one was around and the dogs were stuck inside. Stella was taken to the MSU (Michigan State University) vet clinic to be treated for her burns and exposure to smoke. Luckily the other dog was just in shock and had only sustained a leg injury.
The Michigan State University, in their official statement to the press, spoke through Brea Sandness, DVM, BS, who is a surgical resident at their vet clinic. According to her, Stella was brought in with serious burns everywhere, from her head to her tail. Her condition was so serious that her team of doctors didn’t want to put her under anesthesia. But not all hope was lost.
During the Camp Fire wildfires in California, tilapia skin was used by vets as a natural bandaid for animals that had been burned in the fire. But it isn’t something that is commercially available in America.
Lucky for everyone concerned, Dr. Sandness remembered this and she got in touch with an organization in Iceland called Kerecis that sold something called an Omega3 Wound. They had also researched the material extensively and cod skin after descaling had already received FDA approval. The only issue was that they hadn’t actually tried it on animals. But Dr. Sandness felt sure that if it could be used on humans, it would work for Stella as well.
Through a generous donation, Kerecis sent the cod skin overnight so that Stella could get the graft as soon as possible. Her team of doctors had no issues working with it and if everything goes as planned, Stella’s body will just absorb the cod skin and replace it with a fresh layer of tissue.
In the official statement, Dr. Sandness revealed that Stella’s body had absorbed the skin and since it had some anti-inflammatory properties, she was actually safer from infection and in a lot less pain than she would have been. It was an inspiring case for the team to work on and it proved that these skin grafts might just become a very useful aid to vets.
If you check out the GoFundMe, you’ll see that Stella is once again a joyful pup but those who were there will tell you that she is a true warrior.
Not even a blazing inferno could snuff out her will to live and that is indeed a miracle. And a Rottweiler being saved with the help of this skin graft is something really amazing!