The effects of a proprietary Manuka honey and essential oil hydrogel on the healing of acute full-thickness wounds in dogs

Vet Surg. 2021 Nov;50(8):1634-1643. doi: 10.1111/vsu.13711. Epub 2021 Sep 1.


Objective: To evaluate the effect of a proprietary Manuka honey essential oil hydrogel on the healing of acute, full-thickness wounds in dogs.

Study design: Prospective, controlled, randomized, experimental study.

Animals: Purpose-bred, adult, female beagles (n = 10).

Methods: Two 2 × 2 cm surgical wounds were created bilaterally on the trunk of each dog; each side was randomized to receive HoneyCure® (HOC) or standard-of-care (CON) dressings. Cranial wounds were for histopathological analysis and the caudal wounds for culture and planimetry. Total and open wound areas were measured with digital image planimetry at 15 time points. From these data, percent contraction and percent epithelialization were calculated. Tissue biopsies were obtained at 7 time points and histologic features scored. Cultures were obtained at 2 time points.

Results: Epithelialization was 11.7, 10.4, and 10.1 percentage points higher in HOC wounds compared to CON wounds at days 16, 18, and 21 respectively. Wound contraction and histological scores did not differ between groups. Cultures were positive in 7/40 (17.5%) wounds, with Staphylococcus pseudintermedius and Staphylococcus epidermidis isolated evenly. There was no difference of infection rate between the two groups; all infections were superficial and did not require treatment.

Conclusion: This study did not provide evidence to support the application of HoneyCure® in small, acute wounds in healthy dogs. However, application may be beneficial in the early proliferative stage of wound healing and in wounds that would benefit from early, robust epithelialization.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dogs
  • Female
  • Honey*
  • Hydrogels
  • Oils, Volatile* / therapeutic use
  • Prospective Studies
  • Staphylococcus
  • Wound Healing


  • Hydrogels
  • Oils, Volatile

Supplementary concepts

  • Staphylococcus pseudintermedius