Wound Closure with Skin Graft

A skin graft is a skin piece entirely removed from the patient's body and placed on the wound for closure. The blood vessels on the wound will grow faster under the skin graft to be back to normal functioning. But if the blood vessels do not grow quickly under the skin graft, the graft will die after a certain duration. For that reason, the wound should have proper nutrients for supporting the graft. Plus, the surgeon will carefully prepare the graft so the blood vessels can grow with ease into the graft.

Signs For Skin Grafts

  • Traumatic Incidents
  • Thermal Burns
  • Chemical Burns
  • Oncological Surgery – Tumor Removal
  • Injected Medicines
  • Injected Anesthesia

Contraindications For Skin Grafts

The skin grafts will not die in the following cases:

  • Over The Bone
  • Over The Ligaments And Tendons
  • Poorly Vascular Wound Beds
  • Infection In The Wound
  • High Motion Locations

Types Of Skin Grafts For Wound Closure

  • Full-Thickness Skin Grafts

This kind of skin graft is common in cats and dogs. It involves the removal of the skin piece and removing the fat under the skin. Besides, the donor site used for the skin graft should be loose so the incision can be closed. But the survival of the partial and full thickness of skin grafting is similar.

  • Partial Thickness Skin Grafts

The partial thickness of the skin grafts includes a thin layer of the donor site. Therefore, there will be a thin layer of skin on the donor site for skin grafting. No hair will be growing on the skin because the hair follicles are present quite deep. Plus, the donor site will be healing, but it requires some time. In addition, this type of graft donor will be painful. The partial thickness of the skin grafting is done in the cases where the dogs have massive skin burn or loss.

Wound Preparation And Skin Graft

  • The skin graft entails a fastidious bed for efficient results on the patient's skin.
  • If there is not an ideal surface for a skin graft, there are high chances that there will be a delay unless there is the development of a healthy tissue bed.
  • It will take about seven to ten days if there is any delay in the healing process of the skin graft.
  • It would be best to cover the wound bed with a bandage.
  • The bandage should be replaced every day until skin grafting is completely performed.
  • Excessive tissue on the granulation will be trimmed down on the surface edges, and the grafting procedure will be delayed for a few days.
  • Before the skin grafting procedure begins, the pet will be anesthetized; the site is chosen for the skin grafting. For instance, there will be enough skin present at that donor site. The donor site will be the chest or abdomen region, so it does not cause any ill effects to the patient.
  • Once the skin graft is elevated, the fat is cut off under the skin.
  • There will be tiny-sized holes made on the skin graft to allow the fluid to escape under the flap.
  • The skin graft will be sutured over the wound, and the limb should be bandaged.
  • The bandage will be kept for 4 to 5 days.
  • Care is required while changing the bandage so that the skin graft is not pulled off from the wound bed, and the bandage material should not adhere to the skin.
  • After seven days of the surgery, the graft should be secured for the granulation of the tissue bed.
  • Next, all the layers of the bandage should be removed.
  • Approximately 99 percent of the graft will be survived, and the patient will be normal.
  • The skin grafts have a covering over the distal extremities.
  • The hair growth on the skin graft will be sparse, and it is related to the damage to the hair follicles during the skin graft's collection.
  • The hair will be aligned in the right direction for matching the native coat of the limb.

Post-Operative Care

  • The pet's activity should be limited after the surgical procedure of skin grafting.
  • The bandage should be dry.
  • There should not be any swelling or coldness, especially if the grafting is done on the limb.
  • You have to return to the veterinary surgeon for changing the bandage.
  • Once the bandage is no longer required, you can cover the skin graft with a cloth or sock for three to four weeks to prevent the pet from chewing at the graft area.


  • Almost 95 to 100 percent of the skin grafting cases are successful with the perfect wound bed.
  • It is important to restrict the pet's activity, especially after one week of the surgery.
  • The skin grafts will not let the hair on the skin grow frequently, but it is essential to cover the wound for seven weeks after the operation.

What Is The Cost Of Wound Closure With a Skin Graft?
The all-inclusive cost of wound closure with skin graft is $3,000.00 approximately.