Tilapia skins behing applied to the burned foot of a mountain lion

Treating animal burns with tilapia skins

Wildfires in 2017 prompted UC Davis veterinarians to try a unique treatment — fish skins — to heal the severe burn wounds of two bears and a mountain lion cub. The groundbreaking technique was previously used in Brazil on humans but never before on a wild animal. Jamie Peyton of the UC Davis Wildlife Disaster Network and partners with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife pioneered the technique of suturing tilapia skins to an animal’s paws to act as healing bandages. Tilapia skins supply collagen, hasten healing and are harmless to the animals if swallowed. The treatment has since been successfully used to treat the burn wounds of wild and domestic animals around the world — from kittens and ponies to kangaroos and koalas.

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