Wound Dehiscence Figure 2

Figure 2: Wound dehiscence following mammary tumor removal in female rat (Katinka)
Case history and photos


Katinka and her sister (both intact females) were purchased at a local pet store. Their background is unknown.

At 1 year and 9 months old Katinka developed her first two mammary tumors, both in the right axillary region (armpit area); these were successfully removed.

At 2 years and 1 month old another mammary tumor was discovered, this time in the left groin area. Note that, due to its location (not readily seen), the tumor may have gone unnoticed for awhile. It was described as feeling like a large “water balloon” that was “freely moveable” across her abdomen (i.e., it was not attached to one location).

The veterinarian was consulted and an operation was scheduled. Gas anesthesia (isoflurane) was used during the surgery. An injection of tolfedine (NSAID) was given as painkiller. The incision was closed internally and externally with (purple) sutures. The surgery was successful: the tumor was completely removed. *Note that histopathology was not performed on the excised tumor.

Clinical Signs

By day 6 post-op, Katinka had removed all of her external sutures. Due to the movement of her leg the skin on either side of the incision pulled apart, opening up the wound area. The internal (purple) sutures were still in place and could be seen.


Post-op wound dehiscence.


Katinka was taken to the vet, where she received an injection of Baytril on the right side of her back. This was followed up by oral Baytril (5mg/kg) twice a day, until the wound healed.

No wound care was administered. Katinka’s cage was kept meticulously clean.


Two weeks later, approximately three weeks after the operation, the wound had healed.

*Note, however, that the Baytril injection site developed a large scab due to skin irritation caused by the caustic medicine (note: Katinka moved during administration of the injection).


There was no tumor recurrence in the previously mentioned locations. However, at 2 years and 4 months old two new lumps were noticed, this time in Katinka’s left neck and left armpit area. Katinka passed away due to age related disease before further operations could be scheduled.


post-op wound dehiscence

Photo on left shows Katinka before mammary tumor surgery. Center photo taken post-op day 6 shows wound dehiscense at the surgical site. Photo on right shows photo taken post-op day 7.

Case history and photos courtesy of Cyzahhe.


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