Skin/Coat - Wounds

Good wound-care management from day one is important to avoid contamination, infection, unsightly scarring and proud flesh problems. Infection is a major cause of delaying healthy tissue repair and wound closure. First steps should be to remove any debris and cleanse the wound carefully with an antibacterial and antiseptic product.

Veterinarians are beginning to understand that keeping a wound moist will help it to heal more quickly. In most circumstances, the wound area discharges fluid called exudate, which contains substances that help the horse’s body fight infection and support the growth of healthy tissue. When a wound is kept moist, this allows exudate to support an environment that stimulates healing. Clinical studies have also shown that wounds kept in a moist environment have lower infection rates than wounds treated with agents that tend to dry the wound.

First stage of healing involves coagulated blood and aggregated platelets working together to form a clot and, finally, what we see as a scab. Stage two sees granulation tissue begin to form across the wound. Granulation tissue is a very important and necessary part of wound healing in the horse. However, there can be problems when the horse develops too much granulation tissue. Research has found that horses have the ability to produce granulation tissue in wounds quite rapidly when compared to other animals. When granulation tissue grows out and protrudes from the wound, then the granulation tissue is known as proud flesh. Proud flesh in horses can be caused for many reasons, including early wound infection. Step three consists of new cellular growth which blankets the healthy granulation. At the end of the granulation phase, fibroblasts begin to commit apoptosis, converting granulation tissue from an environment rich in cells to one that consists mainly of collagen.

Medical-grade manuka honey is gaining favour among some equine practitioners as a way to jump-start the healing process by neutralizing the bacteria that lead to infection and inflammation causing proud flesh. Honey made from nectar collected from the manuka bush, a native New Zealand plant, possesses a high level of non-peroxide antibacterial components comparable in strength to that of phenol, or carbolic acid. Manuka honey has such a low pH that bacteria can’t survive. Manuka honey’s pH is in the range of 3.2 to 4.5, whereas bacteria thrive and multiply in the 6.0 to 7.8 range.

Pro-Equine’s Aloe Vera and Manuka is ideal for first response wound care in horses and will keep the wound moist.

While most minor wounds heal easily, some can worsen into open sores that can become seriously infected. You may be able to aid minor wounds at home, by washing the area with clean water and applying a light antiseptic gel, such as Aloe Vera & Tea Tree. Tea Tree is a broad spectrum antiseptic with high levels of biocidal activity against bacteria and fungi which help promote a healthy environment for problems such as scrapes, insect bites and fungal problems like thrush.