A Quaker parakeet approximately 5 years of age presented with a full-thickness, 1- to 2-day old wound on its leg. The bird appeared otherwise normal and was anesthetized with isoflurane to treat the leg. The wound was mechanically debrided and lavaged with sterile saline and 50% dextrose solution; then sutured at the proximal and distal ends of the wound using tension sutures with stents. SilvaSorb Gel (Medline Industries, Inc) was thinly applied to the wound to help the adherence of a SilvaSorb Sheet cut to match the shape of the wound. A light cotton bandage followed by a light elastic bandage layer was applied on top of the cotton bandage. An Elizabethan collar was placed on the bird and a 10-day course of cephalexin (100 mg/kg PO Q 12 H) and 7-day course of meloxicam (0.5 mg/kg PO Q 12 H) started. Rechecks were initially performed on days 3 and 6; then extended to every 5 to 6 days. Dressing changes under isoflurane anesthesia were performed at each visit. By day 29, the wound had completely reepithelialized, and by day 43, the bird had regrown feathers. It appears use of Silvasorb Sheets promotes healing of avian tissue with the added benefits of providing extensive antimicrobial activity for up to 7 days and reducing the frequency of dressing changes.

COMMENTARY: The bandage material described in this case is a type of slow-release silver hydrogel dressing. Preliminary studies have suggested that these dressings can provide an environment that encourages healing and can reduce the frequency of wound dressing-an important consideration in avian patients in which stress needs to be kept to a minimum. Hydrogels absorb wound exudate and can donate moisture to the wound bed, promoting autolytic debridement and reducing pain at the wound site. Silver hydrogel dressings also release silver ions for up to 7 days when exposed to moisture from the wound. This creates the additional benefit of a controlled-release antimicrobial effect, an excellent option for treating partial- and full-thickness wounds.

Application of a sustained-release silver hydrogel dressing sheet in avian wound management. Mans C, Guincho M, Smith D, Taylor M. Exotic DVM 9:21-24, 2007.