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Badly burned New Orleans dog will make history as first to receive groundbreaking skin treatment

The Burn Center at UMC is becoming one of the top in the country at treating burn patients with new technology.

NEW ORLEANS — A heartwarming update to a story on a severely burned dog we told you about a few days ago.

The Burn Center at UMC is becoming one of the top in the country at treating burn patients with new technology.

After our story on Sadie, the center's burn surgeons wanted to help the veterinarian save her life.

Now, Sadie will be making medical history.

The story of Sadie, the young dog severely burned, is touching hearts around the country. It happened when hay in her kennel caught on fire from a heat lamp that was keeping her warm. She was surrendered to the Human Society of Louisiana. They are raising treatment funds and got her to veterinary surgeon Dr. Dena Lodato at Resurge in Covington.

Burned over 70 percent of her body, hyparbaric oxygen is being used. Dogs can't have skin grafting because of their fur. She is on pain medication. If she can pull through, it will take a long time to heal.

Remembering our Medical Watch special report with LSU Health burn surgeon and Medical Director of the UMCNO Burn Center, Dr. Jeffrey Carter, and the groundbreaking technology he's using, we sent him Sadie's story.

RELATED: New procedure tested in New Orleans is changing lives for burn victims

“At first I was kind of in shock and then I was in awe because everybody's willing to do this for this poor pup,” said Dr. Dena Lodato, small animal boarded surgeon at Resurge Veterinary Surgical Specialists and Rehabilitation in Covington.

Dr. Carter offered to help. Friday afternoon, burn surgeons from UMC will join Dr. Lodato to perform the AVITA Medical RECELL treatment. A small piece of the patient's skin is treated in a small kit right in the O.R. In less than 30 minutes, doctors have a spray on solution of your skin cells. 

Patients grow their own new skin that can look like you were never burned. Children's Hospital and UMC burn surgeon Dr. Nicole Kopari will lead the team.

“I just really want people to know that we are here for them. We're here for the community, and our care for these patients extends much beyond just the hospital, even to their pets,” said Dr. Nicole Kopari, a general surgeon and surgical critical care specialist who is the Pediatric Medical Director at Children’s Hospital. She treats burn patients at both Children’s Hospital and UMC.

When Dr. Lodato was asked if she had ever heard of the RECELL treatment, she replied, “I had not. I thought it was the coolest thing, because in veterinary medicine unfortunately we're decades behind human medicine.”

AVITA donated the kit. Sadie will be the first dog ever to have RECELL.

“This is a breakthrough moment for people in the animal welfare community and really around the country for people who care about pets,” said Jeff Dorson, Executive Director of the Humane Society of Louisiana.

“We all go into medicine to really, you know to take care of people and to have people have really good outcomes you know and oftentimes animals are extensions of our family,” said Dr. Kopari.

Now Sadie will be a part of medical history.

The No Pain Rescue group in New Jersey will give Sadie a home after she heals.

Those wishing to donate to Sadie's care may donate on the Humane Society's website at www.humanela.org, through its PayPal at humanela@gmail.com or send a check or money order to HSLA, P.O. Box 740321, New Orleans, LA 70174. In the check memo, please write "for Sadie. All donations are tax-deductible.

For more information on Resurge Veterinary Surgical Specialists and Rehabilitation LLC, hyperbaric treatment, and other surgical and rehabilitative services, visit www.resurge.vet.

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