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Veterinarian Uses Fish Skin To Help Treat Severely Burned Dog

Back in January, Archer, a dog living in Alaska, was severely burned when his home caught fire. When firefighters received the scene, they found Archer consumed by flames. The scared dog ran off when firefighters tried to select him up – leaving many of us worried about his survival.




Thankfully, Archer was located near the ocean shortly after the hearth and was immediately taken to the vet. Since Archer lives in Haines, Alaska, things are pretty remote and emergency vet services aren’t that abundant. Often these sorts of situations involve Dr. Michelle Oakley – star of the Nat Geo WILD show “Dr. Oakley” – who has experience helping all animals, and would offer care.


However, since Dr. Oakley was on her way back from California at the time of the incident, Archer had to endure a seven-hour car ride, through severe weather, to the closest vet so as to treat his serious injuries. After Archer was during a more stable condition he was ready to head home and start the long recovery journey with Dr. Oakley by his side.

Photo: LUCKY DOG FILMS/MIRANDA LANGEVIN/COURTESY NAT GEO WILD


“We started with bandage changes and found out burn unit in my office in town since we would have liked a sterile environment where you'll keep everything clean,” Dr. Oakley described to PEOPLE the special operation she found out so as to treat Archer.


However, it soon became clear that Archer would wish more help than she could provide, so she brought during a burn specialist from The University of California, Davis for advice. The specialist recommended a more moderen treatment that entails using the skins from tilapia fish and placing them on the burns so as to market healing. The specialist even paid Archer a visit and showed Dr. Oakley how the treatment worked.

Photo: LUCKY DOG FILMS/MIRANDA LANGEVIN/COURTESY NAT GEO WILD


Archer was soon covered in fish skin, giving him a scaly look that earned him the nickname, “Archer the Dragonslayer.”

“The relief was instant,” Dr. Oakley commented on how the fish skins helped Archer. The poor dog had burns everywhere his body, but the injuries were especially nasty on his face.

The community rallied around Archer also . While Dr. Oakley provided her care freed from charge, Haines residents came together to assist cover any additional medical costs for Archer, like a couple of operations, laser therapy, countless bandage changes and more.

Photo: LUCKY DOG FILMS/MIRANDA LANGEVIN/COURTESY NAT GEO WILD


Over time with many love and fish skin, Archer transformed from a scared burn victim with painfully pink skin and no fur, to a totally healed and happy dog who only features a quarter-sized bald spot from the burns to his face.


Even though Dr. Oakley played a key role in his recovery, she still gives Archer most of the credit thanks to a friendly, fighting spirit. albeit he was during a lot of pain, he never showed up to his countless vet visits without a tail wag.

Photo: LUCKY DOG FILMS/MIRANDA LANGEVIN/COURTESY NAT GEO WILD


And during a way, Archer’s journey has been helpful to others who need healing also – Dr. Oakley now knows tons more about treating burns after Archer’s ordeal, and she’s now ready to apply these experiences to other animals injured in fires.

“This one patient goes to assist me help numerous animals,” she stated.

Photo: LUCKY DOG FILMS/MIRANDA LANGEVIN/COURTESY NAT GEO WILD


Dr. Oakley sees the months-long endeavor to assist Archer heal as an overall career highlight, also together of the foremost satisfying cases she’s taken on.
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