Maggot debridement therapy for serious horse wounds - a survey of practitioners

Vet J. 2007 Jul;174(1):86-91. doi: 10.1016/j.tvjl.2006.05.012. Epub 2006 Jul 10.


Hoof disease and injuries are common and serious problems for equines. Maggot debridement therapy (MDT) has been used to treat problematic wounds in humans, but has been used only rarely in other animals. US veterinarians who had employed MDT were surveyed to investigate their reasons for the choice of this treatment and their clinical experiences with it. Between 1997 and 2003, 13 horses were treated by eight veterinarians who used MDT to control infection or debride wounds, which could not easily be reached surgically or were not responding to conventional therapy. Seven animals were lame, and six were expected to require euthanasia. Following maggot therapy, all infections were eradicated or controlled, and only one horse had to be euthanased. No adverse events were attributed to maggot therapy for any of these cases, other than presumed discomfort during therapy. The data collected suggest that maggot therapy could be useful for treating some serious equine hoof and leg wounds.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Data Collection
  • Debridement / methods
  • Debridement / veterinary*
  • Female
  • Hindlimb / injuries
  • Hoof and Claw / injuries
  • Horse Diseases / therapy*
  • Horses
  • Larva*
  • Male
  • Vasculitis / therapy
  • Vasculitis / veterinary
  • Wounds and Injuries / therapy
  • Wounds and Injuries / veterinary*