GREENFIELD (WITI) — A trauma and critical care specialist and surgeon from Froedtert Hospital on Monday, April 28th teamed up with Beatrice’s veterinarian, Dr. Marla Lichtenberger with the Milwaukee Emergency Center for Animals for a special procedure aimed at helping the badly-burned dog to heal.
Beatrice, a five-year-old mixed-breed dog, was stolen from her own backyard on March 13th — and found 11 days later at Potawatomi Bingo Casino, cold and burned over 90 percent of her body.
On Monday, Froedtert Hospital Dr. John Weigelt and Dr. Lichtenberger teamed up for a procedure in which heterograft (pigskin) was applied to Beatrice’s second and third-degree burns.
FOX6’s cameras were the only cameras allowed as Beatrice underwent the procedure on Monday. Beatrice’s procedure is believed to be a first in the field of veterinary medicine.
Beatrice’s burns were gently covered with pigskin — something Dr. Weigelt and Dr. Lichtenberger hope will help Beatrice to heal.
“It’s just at that stage where it’s not healing well. The granulation tissue is coming in, but it just needs that one more step of covering over it. I was getting a little frustrated with the treatment,” Dr. Lichtenberger said.
The skin will eventually be rejected by Beatrice’s body, but the doctors hope it takes for long enough to help with the healing process.
“I’ve used pigskin once before on an animal before autografting — but I’ve never used it on a dog. If the pigskin sticks and covers it and gives her some chance to heal underneath it, we have a pretty good chance that she’ll heal this wound almost completely. I`m hopeful. I`m enthusiastic about what we`ve done, and I`m anxious to see what happens in the next 10-14 days. Right now, I am a lot more hopeful than I was two weeks ago,” Dr. Weigelt said.
“This is cutting edge for sure. Absolutely. It’s never been attempted. It`s been a little tense because of the fact I wanted everything to go right. When you kind of join forces with all different kinds of things, I just wanted to make sure everything was perfect today — and it seemed to go perfectly well. Everybody’s kind of watching her and kind of growing with the excitement that she’s actually going to pull through on this,” Dr. Lichtenberger said.
The doctors say this next 10-14 days will let them know whether the procedure was truly a success.
Both though, say they’re very optimistic after how things went on Monday.
Animal Fairy Charities continues to accept donations on Beatrice’s behalf. If you’d like to donate, please CLICK HERE.