The effect of short- and long-term treatment with manuka honey on second intention healing of contaminated and noncontaminated wounds on the distal aspect of the forelimbs in horses

Vet Surg. 2013 Feb;42(2):154-60. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-950X.2012.01083.x. Epub 2012 Dec 5.

Abstract

Objectives: To compare the effects of manuka honey and manuka honey gel on second intention healing of noncontaminated distal limb wounds and those contaminated with feces.

Study design: Experimental study.

Animals: Standardbred horses (n = 10).

Methods: Five full-thickness wounds (2 × 2 cm) were created on both metacarpi. Wounds on 1 forelimb were covered with horse feces for 24 hours. Wounds on the contralateral limb were left uncontaminated. Wounds were assigned to the following 5 different treatments: manuka honey, manuka honey gel or gel applied for 12 days, manuka honey gel applied throughout healing and untreated control. Wound area was measured on day 1 then weekly until day 42 and time to complete healing was recorded.

Results: Wounds treated with manuka honey gel throughout healing healed faster than all other wounds (P < .05). Wounds treated with manuka honey and manuka honey gel for 12 days healed faster than gel control and untreated control wounds (P < .05). Wounds treated with manuka honey and manuka honey gel for 12 days and throughout healing were smaller than gel control and untreated control wounds until day 35 (P < .05). Wounds contaminated with feces had greater retraction for 7 days, but healed faster than noncontaminated wounds (P < .05).

Conclusions: Treatment of wounds with manuka honey and manuka honey gel reduced wound retraction and overall healing time compared with gel and untreated control wounds.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gels
  • Honey*
  • Horses / injuries
  • Leptospermum
  • Male
  • Metacarpus
  • Skin / injuries
  • Wound Healing / drug effects*
  • Wound Healing / physiology
  • Wound Infection / physiopathology
  • Wound Infection / prevention & control
  • Wound Infection / veterinary*

Substances

  • Gels