What is Skin Fold Resection?
Skin folds are flaps of loose skin that can appear as the result of a variety of conditions. The most common reason is rapid weight loss, which can leave much excess skin on the body if the animal previously possessed a high level of body fat. Some breeds of dog can have prominent skin folds as a distinguishing characteristic. In some instances, however, skin folds can become a liability to the overall health of the animal and will need to be removed. A 'resection' is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of a segment of tissue, followed by the fixing of the remaining pieces into one continuous piece. By performing a resection on the problem skin fold, the vet can both cure the underlying problem and maintain the integrity of the dog's skin in the long term.
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Skin Fold Resection Procedure in Dogs
Before the operation can begin, the target area of the dog's body must be thoroughly cleaned (to remove any lingering bacteria from the fold) and shaved to allow ease of access for the surgeon. The dog will have to be placed under a general anesthetic in order to prevent them from shifting position during the operation. To begin the surgery, the vet will make incisions on either side of the skin flap, allowing a little excess tissue to be left over for closing the wound later. They will then cut through the flap until it can be completely removed. The vet will then take some time to inspect the surrounding tissue for signs of damage or infection before suturing the wound shut. In all, the procedure should take roughly twenty minutes to half an hour to complete.
Efficacy of Skin Fold Resection in Dogs
In terms of utility, the skin fold resection is an extremely well-suited operation for dealing with infection other such problems caused by skin folds. Following the procedure, the dog will not have to worry about the skin regenerating and sagging as before, as the surgical incision will form a mass of scar tissue that will be resistant to pressure. However, due to the somewhat drastic nature of the operation, some owners may wish to seek alternative treatments for their dog. Topical antibiotics are commonly used to treat infections, and can be easily applied to the dog in the form of a cream. However, if the infections keep repeating it may be the wisest course of action to remove the fold to spare the dog some discomfort.
Skin Fold Resection Recovery in Dogs
Following the surgery, the dog will require approximately two or three weeks to heal, though this time period may be longer for older animals. The vet will likely instruct the owner to minimize the amount of exercise the dog is allowed to indulge in, as this can run a risk of re-opening the incision and allowing debris to enter the body. A follow-up appointment or two may also be warranted, so that the vet can make sure that the dog is recovering properly. The sutures used will most likely be designed to be absorbed by the dog's body, so it will probably not be necessary to arrange a visit just to have them removed.
Cost of Skin Fold Resection in Dogs
The price of a skin fold resection is comparatively low compared to other surgical procedures that a dog may face. This is due to the fact that the operation is quite simplistic and takes little time to perform, meaning that the majority of vets will be qualified to carry it out. For this reason, owners can expect to pay under $400 for the operation. Topical antibiotics (a typical alternative treatment method) will usually cost somewhere in the region of $100 for a full course, making them a less expensive option in the short term. However, due to the permanent effects of the resection procedure, surgery will often prove more cost-effective in the long run.
Dog Skin Fold Resection Considerations
Whilst a skin fold resection is a very effective means of combating the problems that plague many dogs with excess skin, there are some pet owners who feel uncertain about the operation. The main cause for this worry is the fear that removing the skin fold may cause discomfort to the dog or hinder its mobility. Whilst there will be less excess skin for the dog to move within after the surgery is done, removing the skin fold will almost always increase the dog's quality of life by allowing it to move unencumbered and without fear of injury.
Skin Fold Resection Prevention in Dogs
Whilst the problems caused by skin folds can be easily solved by using the resection procedure, it is far easier to avoid the development of folds in the first place. Whilst some breeds will naturally possess large amounts of excess skin and have to deal with any problems as they arise, other dogs are luckier. The primary reason for the development of skin folds is rapid and significant weight loss, especially if the animal was previously overweight. By making sure that their dog receives a nutritious, good quality diet and plenty of exercise, owners can prevent obesity from occurring in the first place, thereby preventing the loose skin that would form when their dog regains a healthy weight.