Honey and Equine Wound Healing Research

Intralesional application of medical grade honey improves healing of surgically treated lacerations in horses.
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Intralesional application of MGH to lacerations prior to wound closure may help prevent wound infection and therefore dehiscence.

This prospective, randomized clinical study was created to evaluate the effect of intralesional medical grade honey (MGH) on wound infection and dehiscence following closure.

A total of 127 horses were included in the study and randomly allocated into the treatment (MGH; 69 horses) or control (58 horses) group. Neonatal foals, horses with major systemic illness, penetrating wounds requiring hospitalization and eyelid lacerations were excluded from the study.

All wounds were first cleaned thoroughly with diluted chlorhexidine or diluted povidone iodine followed by a balanced sterile electrolyte solution. The MGH group had sterile MGH (L‐Mesitran gel) applied directly onto the subcutaneous tissue prior to skin closure or after partial wound closure. Data relating to wound healing was subsequently collected from the 11 participating practitioners through questionnaires and telephone conversations.

No adverse effects of the MGH were recorded in any of the horses participating in the study. MGH‐treated horses were significantly more likely to heal completely, to have no signs of infection and for the veterinarians to report some degree of satisfaction compared to control cases.

Bottom line: Intralesional application of MGH to lacerations prior to wound closure may help prevent wound infection and therefore dehiscence.

Authors in this study were Mandel, H. H., Sutton, G. A., Abu, E., and Kelmer, G.

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