Management of chronic non-healing wounds over the calcaneal tuberosity in a Sphinx cat

florin48260278_10156282671250432_7554491919091367936_nDiana Anghelescu DVM

Georgiana Ciochina DVM

Florin Cristian Delureanu DVM, MRCVS, OCQ(V)

February 2022






Wounds that fail to heal through the normal healing phases in a routine timely manner are classed as chronic wounds. Factors like improper nutrition, hypovolemia, anemia, infection, excessive motion and endocrinopathies contribute to delay wound healing. The patient presented with chronic bilateral wounds over the calcaneal extremities without progression after approximately two months of conservative management consisting of local bandaging techniques. Therefore, a surgical approach was used to close both defects. In order to achieve closure of these particular lesions, a single releasing incision was utilized. After surgery the patient was hospitalized for 10 days and a “donut type” bandage was used to minimize the local trauma. The sutures were removed at 21 days after surgical intervention.


Key words: Chronic wound, “donut-type” bandage, calcaneal extremities.


Signalment and history


A six months old Sphinx cat weighing 2.1 kg was brought for a second opinion in december 2021 because of non-healing wounds at the calcaneal extremities. It was not clear the cause of these lesions but the owner noted a slowly progression of the wounds in approximately one month. At the initial veterinary practice the patient was locally treated with an antibacterial-steroid based ointment which was applied twice a day and a light bandage to cover the wounds. Afterwards, the owner was advised to improve the comfort of the home environment to prevent further trauma. There was no improvement noted after this treatment.


Clinical examination and findings


At the time of presentation, the wounds from both calcaneal extremities were quite similar in appearance. In terms of depth, a full thickness skin defect was present measuring approximately 1cm diameter. The wound from the left side presented mild moisture and small amount of slough was covering the surface while the wound from the right side was covered by a dry crust. There was no local pain and or purulent discharge and no bone exposure. A concurrent parasitic otitis was found during examination.




Cytological examination of the lesions revealed a mild superficial bacterial infection along with an inflammatory response. The options of conservative and surgical management were discussed with the owner. Initially the owner opted for second intention healing. The bacterial infection was treated locally using chlorhexidine gluconate solution 0.02% daily for three days followed by application of medical grade Manuka gel covered by a light protective bandage. A recommendation of daily bandage changes was made for the first three days until the first recheck. An Elizabethan collar was recommended to prevent self-trauma but the owner declined. An otic swab confirmed the presence of Otodectes Cynotis and the patient received one dose of lotilaner for the parasitic infection and daily ear cleansing with clorhexidine with TRIS-EDTA for 2 weeks.



Fig.1 Left (A) and right (B) calcaneal lesions. There is no marginal reepithelialisation and the wound margins are not inflamed. The left defect present a chronic pale granulation tissue and the right lesion is covered by a dry crust.





At the first check-up the lesions were considerably larger but also the owner reported that the patient managed to remove the bandages during the night. Moderate amount of slough was present on both defects and mild moisture was present (Figure 2).

Fig.2 Left (A) and right (B) calcaneal wounds. There is an increase in size of both wounds and the wound edges present mild inflammation.

Fig.2 Left (A) and right (B) calcaneal wounds. There is an increase in size of both wounds and the wound edges present mild inflammation.

At this moment a “dounut-type” bandage with hydrogel representing the contact layer for the next ten days was recommended (Figure 3). This type of bandage was ment to prevent against any further trauma and the hydrogel to help by wound debridement and keeping a moist environment. The the bandage was changed every three days.






Fig.3 Donut Type bandage. A “donut” pad was made by rolling long strip of cotton in a circular manner and was applied over the bony proeminence. The “donut” was fixed in place with padding gauze and tape.

Fig.3 Donut Type bandage. A “donut” pad was made by rolling long strip of cotton in a circular manner and was applied over the bony proeminence. The “donut” was fixed in place with padding gauze and tape.

At the ten days recheck there was no more slough or necrotic areas over the wounds but was no improvement in terms of size or granulation tissue quality. The surgical intervention was recommended at this state and the owner accepted.

Complete blood work, including a CBC and a biochemistry panel, was done before surgery. The results were within reference levels. The patient underwent general anesthesia using dexmedetomidine (4.5mcg/kg IM) and methadone (0.18 mg/kg IM) as premedication followed by induction with propofol (6mg/kg IV) and maintenance with isoflurane and oxygen.





After wound bed preparation, the local skin assessment was performed aiming to obtain a robust and tension free closure. The assessment involved manipulation of the skin that surround the defects but also the skin from the nearby area (Figure 4). More skin was available proximal to the hock, medial and lateral compared with other areas. The options of surgical closure taken in consideration were: undermining, tension-relieving techniques in form of single releasing incision, Z-plasty, V-Y plasty and transposition flap from the lateral or medial aspect of the distal tibia. Initially undermining of the wound edges was performed and closure was attempted but there was too much tension. A single releasing incision was the option used to close these particular wounds.

Fig.4 Caudal view of the right hock. A manual manipulation of the skin that surround the wound is perform.

Fig.4 Caudal view of the right hock. A manual manipulation of the skin that surround the wound is perform.

The following steps were used for both wounds:

Initially the fibrotic thickened wound edge was removed and undermining was performed around in a circular manner (Figure 5). A 2cm parallel incision with the wound was made approximately 2cm dorsally and 1cm medial on the medial aspect of the distal tibia (Figure 6). Undermining was performed in a cranio-caudal direction connecting the incision with the wound bed. The skin was advanced into the defect and 3/0 monofilament in a simple interrupted suture pattern was used for closure (Figure 7).

Fig 5

Fig 5

Fig 6

Fig 6






The medial donor defect was left to heal by second intention. The surgical site was covered by a “donut-type” bandage placed over the hock and a nonadherent dressing over the new defect.


After surgery the patient was hospitalized in a padded room the same “donut” bandage but polyurethane foam was used as a contact layer over the new defects and the closed wound was not covered with any dressings. The bandage was changed every 3 days. The new defects ressolved within 8 days and no complications were noted at the surgical site.

Fig.7 Medio-caudal view of the right hock. The final appearance of the wound after closure.

Fig.7 Medio-caudal view of the right hock. The final appearance of the wound after closure.


The cat was discharged after 10 days and was sent home with the same bandage until the suture material was removed. In day 14 and 21 the sutures were removed an Elizabethan collar was appied to prevent self-trauma at home for the next 4 days. At the last recheck both hocks presented with normal scar tissue and no local discomfort. The owner reported that after the collar was removed the cat was not interested in her previously affected areas.



The present case report describes the conservative and surgical approach of two symmetric chronic non-healing wounds associated with the calcaneal tuberosity together with the macroscopic description of the lesions.

Fig.8 Caudal view left (A) and right (B) calcaneal extremities four days after suture removal.

Fig.8 Caudal view left (A) and right (B) calcaneal extremities four days after suture removal.


The patient was presented with a history of more than four weeks of non-healing wounds at both calcaneal extremities. We treated conservatively with specific dressings and bandaging techniques for another two without improvement. Hence, a surgical intervention was recommended.

To achieve the maximum skin advancement the purposed skin incision was planned to be perpendicular to the wound. The reason why the releasing incision was performed slightly proximally to the defect and not perpendicular to it was to avoid exposure of the medial malleolus of the tibia which was sharp and was not covered by robust soft tissue. Therefore, this extremity could represent another pressure point exposed.

In order to minimise the chances of self-trauma, the patient was hospitalised in a soft padded room. The “donut” type bandage was still used for another 10 days. A follow up recheck four days post suture removal was made to make sure there are no post-operative complications. There was a normal scar tissue formed and no local discomfort present functional deficits (Figure 8).





  1. Michael M. Pavletic– Atlas of Small Animal Wound Management and Reconstructive Surgery, Fourth edition, 2018 John Wiley & Sons, Inc;
  2. Nicole J. Buote, DVM, DACVS-SA- Updates in Wound Management and Dressings, Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small Animal Practice 2021 Elsevier Inc;
  3. Theresa Fossum- Small Aminal Surgery 5th Edition, April 2018, Elsevier Inc;
  4. Steven F. Swaim, Walter C. Renberg, Kathy M. Shike- Small Animal Bandaging, Casting, and Splinting Techniques, Iowa State University Press, United States 2011;
  5. Baranoski, S, Ayello, EA. 2016. Wound Care Essentials: Practice Principles, 4th ed. New York: Wolters Kluwer;
  6. Hunt TK, Williams H. 1997. Wound healing and wound infection. Surg Clin N Am 77:587–606.
  7. Bryant RA, Nix DP. 2016. Acute and Chronic Wounds: Current Management Concepts, 5th ed. St. Louis: Elsevier Inc.

Diagnosis of multiple myeloma in a Labrador Retriever

florinFlorin Cristian Delureanu


November 2021



A 12 years old intact male labrador retriever was presented to the practice in 05.03.2021 with a history of diarrhea and hyporexia. The diarrhea was present for few days and the appetite was decreased for about 2 weeks but there were moments when the patient was eating normally. The patient was up to date with the booster vaccination and was regulary using antyparasitic treatment.


Physical examination

At the moment of examination the patient was bright, alert, with normal temperature (38.7 °C), the palpable lymphnodes were normal in size, nothing abnormal detected in the oral cavity and thoracic ascultation unremarkable. A mass of approximate 5cm diameter with soft consistency, mobile, and without local reaction on the surrounding soft tissue was identified in the xiphoid area.



Initially general blood tests including complete blood count, biochemistry, electrolytes and total T4 were performed as a routine screening in order to identify any abnormalities. The results from the haemoleucogram demonstrate mild microcytic hypochromic non-regenerative/ pre-regenrative anemia, neutropenia, monocytopenia and eosinopenia. On the biochemistry just hyperproteinaemia due to increased globulins was the single abnormality. Also the thyroid hormone was under the normal reference range (picture 1).

fig 1

Coroborating the blood results with the history and the clinical examination the following differential diagnostic list was discussed with the owner: occult chronic blood loss, iron deficiency, inflammatory/infectiouse cause, neoplastic, immune mediated disease, endocrine (anemia secondary to hypothyroidism), gammopathies.

Aditional history: the last time when the patient went to a veterinary practice was 5 months prior for the regular booster vaccination.

Because of no evident clinical symptoms the presumption of chronic blood loss due to diarrhoea or anemia secondary to hypothyroidism was suspected. After discussion with the owner the decision of repeating blood tests in 4 days was taken. The patient was discharged with oral probiotics and was put on gastro intestinal veterinary diet to treat the diarrhoea. At reevaluation blood was collected and was send to the reference laboratory for complete blood count and blood smear interpretation, SDMA, Coomb’s test and C-reactive protein and complete thyroid panel including total T4, freeT4, cTSH, thyroglobulin autoandibody

The SDMA was normal also the thyroid panel was normal and negative on thyroglobulin autoandibody. The C-reactive protein was mildly elevated and the Coomb’s test was negative. On haematology the anemia had the same characteristics but was normocytic the reticulocytes and platelets under the normal limit. There were no modifications on the leucogram compared with the one performed at the first presentation (picture 2).

fig 2

The blood film was evaluated and a mild microcytosis and no increased in polycromasia was noted. Marked rouleaux formation and occasional metarubricyte were present too and leucopenia was confirmed. Estimation of free platelets (3-8 platelets seen per HPF) suggested platelet numbers are mildly/moderately decreased with and very small platelet clumps seen was identified.


Based on the second blood tests (pancytopenia is observed but also marked rouleaux and occasional metarubricyte) and hyperglobulinaemia from the initial blood tests a suspicion of neoplastic disease like multiple myeloma or lymphoma less likely non-neoplastic disorders like monoclonal gammopatihes (Erlichiosis or Dirofilariasis) because the patient was regulary using antiparasitic medication and no history of travelling. In the same day results were reported to the owner and additional questions regarding the origin, travel status and lameness episodes were asked to the owner in order to find more informations. There was no history of travelling, the dog origin was United Kingdom and transitory episode of weakness were observed in the past months.


Further investigations

To investigate more the suspicion serum and urine protein electrophoresis, urinalysis including urine protein creatinine ratio, radiographs and bone marrow aspiration were recommended. Five days later the patient presented to the practice but the owner accepted initially just the non-invasive investigation and declined the x-rays and bone marrow aspiration. An additional in house haemoleucogram was performed at this stage to monitor the trend of the red and white blood cells (picture 3)

fig 4








The urinalysis revealed proteinuria 3+ and a pH of 8 with active sediment and no crystals or casts, the urine beign collected via urethral catheterisation. The urine protein creatinine ratio was marked elevated (picture 4).


fig 4-1





At serum protein electrophoresis hypoalbuminaemia was present with a mild increase in alpha 1 globulins and marked increase in gamma globulins migrating in a gamma region and a depletion of the globulins thereafter, consistent with a monoclonal band (picture 5)

fig 5










The urine protein electrophoresis showed that majority of the protein was presented in the alpha-beta region and this was interpreted as overflow proteinuria secondary to the marked gammopaty present at the serum protein electrophoresis. No bands consisting with Bence Jones protein were noted but this would be masked by the overflow proteinuria (picture 6).

fig 6

After these last results a highly suspicion of neoplastic disease was made. Radiography and bone marrow aspiration were recommended to confirm the disease. The owners were reluctant to put the dog under sedation because in the past he had general anesthesia and was not stable according to the previouse veterinarian. At this moment the patient was sent to a referral center to have the imagistic investigation.


In 09.04.2021 the patient arrived at the referral center for the last investigations. After clinical examination a firm mobile mass was noted in the caudal abdomen. Initially HLG, blood film evaluation, ionised calcium and 4Dx were performed followed by CT scan of the thorax and abdomen and fine needle aspiration of the liver, spleen and abdominal mass ultrasound guided. The ionised calcium was mild elevated (1.95 mmol/L), the 4Dx was negative. The haematology findings consist with normal white blood cell count with a slight improvement from the 5th March and a stable red blood cell count (HCT 31%) – with a mild non-regenerative anaemia. An initial review of the CT scan confirms the presence of a 4.5-5cm encapsulated mass in the caudal abdomen, with no obvious association with the intestinal wall. A small amount of free fluid is present between the liver lobes. After these investigations the patient was sent home with Fortekor as a treatment of proteinuria.


Seven days later the full CT report, aspirates results and blood smear interpretation were ready.


Cytology interpretation


A detailed haematology showed a mild, normocytic normochromic, poorly regenerative anaemia (HCT 36.9%, reticulocyte count 95.05×109/L). His white blood cell and platelet count were low-normal. There was no evidence to support haemolysis and leucocyte morphology was unremarkable.

Aspirates from the liver and spleen identify a population of extremely atypical plasma cells, supportive of multiple myeloma. Prominent extra medullary haematopoiesis is also noted within the spleen.

Aspirates from the caudal abdominal mass show adipocytes and a mixed inflammatory cell population, comprising of neutrophils ageing in situ and undergoing pyknosis. An atypical plasmacytoid population is identified but in low numbers, suggesting infiltration with myeloma.


CT findings from the report



There are multifocal osteolytic lesions throughout the entire included portion of the skeleton, including essentially all included vertebrae (thoracic, lumbar, sacral), multiple ribs, the sternebrae, the proximal humeri, the pelvis and the proximal femurs (picture 7).



No soft tissue attenuating pulmonary nodules are identified. There are multiple small (<5mm), mineral attenuating, geometrically shaped foci throughout the pulmonary parenchyma (predominately within the periphery), consistent with benign osteomata.



An ovoid, well encapsulated mass is identified within the mesentery of the right caudal abdomen, which measures approximately 4.7cm x 4cm x 5.7cm (height x length x width) (picture 8). The mass is predominately fat attenuating, with a soft tissue attenuating rim and patchy regions of internal soft tissue attenuation (which ranges in appearance from ill-defined to linear).


A soft tissue attenuating (isoattenuating to the adjacent renal cortical tissue on pre-contrast), minimally contrast enhancing nodule, measuring approximately 1cm in largest diameter, is present in the right lateral renal cortex (picture 9).


The liver and spleen are diffusely mildly enlarged, with rounded margins, however they demonstrate normal attenuation and contrast enhancement. A mildly enlarged splenic lymph node is also present.

fig 7 fig 8 fig 9




Diagnosis: Multiple myeloma – advanced stage




Multiple myeloma is a lymphoproliferative cancer arising from plasma cells and their precursors, characterised by clonal proliferation of plasma cells infiltrating the bone marrow and then affecting other organs such as the spleen. Diagnosis of MM usually follows the demonstration of bone marrow or

visceral organ plasmacytosis, the presence of osteolytic bone lesions and the presence of urine myeloma proteins. Renal disease is present in approximately one-quarter to one half of dogs with MM, and azotemia is observed in 30% to 40% of cats.

Bence Jones proteinuria was not evident in the pacient urine protein electrophoresis due to overflow proteinuria secondary to the marked gammopaty. Bence Jones proteinuria occurs in approximately 25% to 40% and hypercalcemia is reported in 15% to 50% of dogs with multiple myeloma. The clinical signs can vary from lethargy and weakness to inappetence, weight loss, lameness, polyuria/polydipsia, bleeding diathesis and central nervouse system deficits. The patient presented with a history of mild inappetence and isolated episodes of lameness.

Chemotherapy is effective at reducing malignant cell burden and to improve the quality of life of the patient. Variouse alkylating agents such as melphalan, cyclophosphamide, chlorambucil, lomustine can be used together with steroid therapy. The most common protocol is a combination between melphalan and prednisolone. This protocol is usually well tolerated by the vast majority of the dogs, the most clinically significant toxic events beign represented by myelosuppression and delayed thrombocytopenia.


After the last investigations performed at the referral center the patient started to deteriorate significantly this manifested by presence of a severe swelling over the left side of the face associated with pain and ptyalis. Two days later, a chemotherapeutic protocol including melphalan, cyclophosphamide orally with intravenous dexamethasone was started. Despite this, the dog developed neutropenia and pyrexia, raising concern for sepsis. As a result, a decision was made to euthanase him one day later.