Delicate surgery: Doctors operate on badly-burned Beatrice

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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.

Beatrice procedure

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.


  • Missing Hiker

    God Bless these good people who helped poor Beatrice, and God Bless Fox6 for bringing the story of this helpless, abused creature out into the open. I hope they catch the evil person who did this to her for no reason and punish them severely. I am so thankful to whoever it was who found her and brought her to these people for help in the nick of time.

  • Mary S

    Thank you for giving Beatrice the care she needs and deserves! I am praying she lives through this.The bill should be paid for by the m-f’er who did this. Please take good care of her!!

  • IMO

    Can they trim her ears so they don’t look so tattered? She is cute, poor thing. She looks like she’s handling things quite well. You can see it on her face that she knows people are trying to help her.

    • Jenny

      I think Beatrice is going through enough as it is. Her less-than-perfect ears are the least of her worries right now. Frankly, I didn’t even notice them. Her face and her expressions are what I see.

  • GoochNASTY

    they should definitely try and trim the ears so the dog won’t look like a freak. hopefully the owners of the dog are more careful if they have children and don’t let them wander away so easily.

  • katezmusing

    That poor baby. I hope this works and she is able to heal. I won’t vocalize what I think should happen to a person who would do this to a poor, helpless, little animal. Pure evil is what it is. Pure evil.

  • sofiasolercornero

    Reblogged this on novedadesvet and commented:
    Beatrice, una perrita cruza de cinco anos fue robada de su casa el pasado 13 de Marzo. La encontraron unos once días después, con aproximadamente el 90% de su cuerpo quemado.

    En el Centro de Emergencias de Animales de Milwaukee el dia 28 de abril el Dr Weigelt se unio a la Dra Lichtenberger para realizar un procedimiento quirúrgico mediante el cual aplicaron un heteroinjerto de piel de cerdo en las areas con quemaduras de 2do y 3er grado al cuerpo de Beatrice.

    Se cree que es la primera vez que este procedimiento se realiza en Medicina Veterinaria.

    Las quemaduras de Beatrice fueron cubiertas con el heteroinjerto.
    Los Dres Weigelt y Lichtenberger esperan que esto ayude a la perrita a sanar de una vez por todas. La piel de cerdo eventualmente será rechazada por el organismo de la paciente, pero los veterinarios esperan que eso tarde lo necesario para que mientras tanto las heridas sanen.

    El Dr. Weigelt expresó que nunca había utilizado piel de cerdo en un perro antes. Si los injertos se adhieren y cubren las quemaduras hay una chance de que la piel sane debajo. Weigelt dijo que se sentia entusiasmado con respecto al procedimiento realizado y que estaba ansioso por saber que pasará dentro de los 10-14 días siguientes.

    Por su parte, la Dra Lichtenberger comento que esto nunca ha sido intentado antes, y quería que todo saliera perfecto por lo que estaba muy nerviosa.
    Parecería que hasta ahora el procedimiento fue exitoso y todos estan esperando que Beatrice salga adelante.

    Los doctores dijeron que en 10-14 días darian a conocer como fue la evolucion del caso. Esperemos que Beatrice se recupere bien
    y que el caso de esta perrita victima de la maldad humana al menos sirva para plantear una nueva opcion a la hora de resolver casos similares.

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