Here’s a feel-good story to carry you through the Memorial Day weekend. Veterinarians at Michigan State University say they were able to save the life of a one-year-old Rottweiler named Stella who had been horrifically burned, thanks in part to an innovative technology that uses fish skin to help the body heal itself.
Stella was trapped in a house fire this past February (her owners were away from home at the time). Though she survived, she was left with severe second- and three-degree burns over 10 percent of her body, serious breathing problems caused by smoke inhalation, and scarred eyes. Upon arrival to the Michigan State University Veterinary Medical Center, her condition was critical.
Ordinarily, dogs like Stella would be put under general anesthesia so that skin grafts can be easily placed onto the affected areas. But that wasn’t a realistic option for her, according to her doctors.
“We had to get creative with her burns because of the significant trauma to Stella’s lungs,” Brea Sandness, a veterinarian and surgical resident at MSU, said in a university release detailing Stella’s case. “She wasn’t a great candidate for anesthesia because of her respiratory injuries.”