Dog receives fish skin treatment to help heal his severe burns

 Archer, an Alaskan dog, was severely injured when his house caught fire in January. When firefighters arrived on the scene, they discovered Archer engulfed in flames. When firefighters tried to pick up the terrified dog, he bolted, leaving many worried about his safety.

Fortunately, Archer was found not long after the fire close to the coast and was rushed right away to the vet. In Haines, Alaska, which is a little bit remote and has few emergency veterinary facilities, resides Archer. Under these circumstances, care would be given by Dr. Michelle Oakley, the star of Nat Geo WILD’s “Dr. Oakley,” who has a wealth of expertise with all animals.

Nevertheless, Archer was forced to undertake a seven-hour car ride through awful weather to the closest vet in order to obtain care for his critical injuries because Dr. Oakley was on his way back from California at the time of the event. Archer was able to go home and start his protracted recovery process after he was in a more stable state, with Dr. Oakley at his side.

Dr. Oakley described the particular procedure she put up to treat Archer to PEOPLE. “We started with bandage changes and built up a burn unit in my office in town because we needed a sterile environment where you can keep everything clean,” she said.

Archer would need more assistance than she was able to offer, so she sought advice from a burn specialist at the University of California, Davis. The doctor offered a unique method that includes covering the burns with tilapia fish skins to speed healing. The expert visited Archer and even demonstrated the process for Dr. Oakley.

Archer immediately developed a fish skin covering that gave him a scaly look and the moniker “Archer the Dragonslayer.”

Dr. Oakley described Archer’s reaction to the fish skins as “instant alleviation.” Even though the poor dog had burns all over, the sores on his face hurt the most.

Archer received support from the neighborhood as well. Haines people banded together to pay for Archer’s extra medical costs, which included a few procedures, laser therapy, countless bandage changes, and more, while Dr. Oakley treated her for free.

With plenty of love and fish skin, Archer transformed over time from a fearful burn sufferer with severely pink skin and no fur to a fully recovered and content dog with just a quarter-sized bald area from the burns to his face.

She gives Archer much of the credit for his compassionate, tenacious attitude, even if Dr. Oakley was crucial to his recuperation. He never stopped wagging his tail at his vet visits, even though he was in a lot of pain.

In other ways, Archer’s pain has helped others who are in need of healing as well. For example, because to Archer’s trauma, Dr. Oakley is much more knowledgeable in treating burns and is now able to use her knowledge to help other animals hurt in fires.

She remarked, “Just one patient will enable me to help so many animals.”

Dr. Oakley regards the months-long endeavor to help Archer heal as a career highlight and one of the most satisfying cases she’s ever worked on.




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