Mountain lion burned in Thomas Fire gets fish skin bandage

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Monday, January 1, 2018
Mountain lion burned in Thomas Fire gets fish skin bandage
Veterinarians are using an unusual technique involving tilapia skin to help a young mountain lion recover from burns he sustained in the Thomas Fire.

RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif. -- A young mountain lion injured during California's devastating Thomas Fire is recovering with the help of an unusual medical device: a bandage made of fish skin.

According to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the 5-month-old kitten was found in Santa Paula on Dec. 22 with burns on the pads of all four of his feet.

Under the care of Dr. Jamie Peyton, chief of integrative medicine at the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, the cat was fitted with a biologic bandage made of sterilized tilapia skin over his most severe burns.

The bandaging technique, which has also been used on human burn patients, protects the burn and provides collagen to help facilitate the healing process. The animal will likely chew the fishy bandage off at some point.

CDFW said the mountain lion "has responded well to treatment so far and is expected to recover." Because of the age at which he was separated from his mother, he will be kept in captivity even after his burns are healed.