This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Cutaneous Wound Healing in the Cat: A Macroscopic and Histologic Description and Comparison with Cutaneous Wound Healing in the Dog




Bohling, Mark

Type of Degree



Biomedical Sciences


Wound healing has been studied in a variety of animal and human models, and until fairly recently, the prevailing viewpoint has been that the basic processes of wound healing are the same between species. Our combined clinical experience, and the more recent reports of differences in wound healing between horses and ponies, led us to question whether or not there may be significant differences in the cutaneous wound healing of the cat, compared to the dog. We also had questions about the hitherto unexplored role of the underlying subcutaneous tissues in regard to cutaneous wound healing, in both the cat and the dog. This study was undertaken first; to describe the first and second intention healing of cutaneous wounds in the cat, and to compare cutaneous wound healing in the cat with that of the dog, and second; to learn more about the role of the subcutaneous tissues in their contribution to cutaneous wound healing. These objectives were met by the macroscopic and histologic evaluation of experimentally created wounds along the dorsal midline of dogs and cats. We found significant macroscopic and histologic differences between cats and dogs in regard to both first and second intention healing that led us to conclude that cutaneous wounds in the cat heal more slowly than in the dog, and that this is associated with a more persistent inflammatory reaction to wounding and a less active proliferative phase for the cat.