Objective: To evaluate the effects of topical zinc gluconate on healing, analgesia, and bacterial growth of full-thickness rat skin wounds.
Study design: Experimental study.
Animals: Male Wistar rats (n = 98) METHODS: One full-thickness round 2 cm × 2 cm surgically created wound on the dorsum of each rat received 1 of the following randomized treatments: zinc gluconate in carrier solution, carrier solution, saline (0.9% NaCl) solution, chlorhexidine, chlorhexidine + zinc gluconate, corticosteroid, and no treatment. At 4 and 21 days, biopsy samples were taken for histopathology. Bacterial cultures were performed on day 4. Subjective pain scores and weight were recorded daily.
Results: No significant differences were noted among the groups except the corticosteroid group, in which delayed healing was noted at 4 and 21 days. Bacterial isolates were similar and no differences in pain scores or weight gain were noted among groups. The wounds treated with corticosteroid at day 4 had decreased inflammatory cells and serocellular crust formation, and minimal neovascularization and granulation tissue formation. At day 21, that group had prolonged neutrophilic inflammatory cells, immature fibrosis, less re-epithelialization, and more prominent serocellular crust.
Conclusion: Wounds treated with zinc gluconate healed similarly and contained similar bacterial load as wounds with other topical treatments except for corticosteroids. No treatment demonstrated the negative effects seen with topical corticosteroid nor did any demonstrate analgesic advantage.
© Copyright 2014 by The American College of Veterinary Surgeons.