Honey for Treating Horse Wounds

Honey’s all the buzz in natural wound remedies, and according to recent research, it works with horses, too.
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Honey for Treating Horse Wounds
Honey’s all the buzz in natural wound remedies, and according to recent research, it works with horses, too. | Photo: Photos.com
Scottish researchers have some sweet news in the field of equine wound healing: Honey’s all the buzz in natural wound remedies, and according to recent research, it works with horses, too. Better yet, it’s not just the tried-and-true manuka honey that works, but a wide variety of honeys from different parts of the world.

Veterinarians have long recognized that manuka honey—which is native to Australia and New Zealand—as an effective wound treatment. But researchers now believe this pricey product isn’t the only kind of honey can kill bacteria found in horse wounds.

“As a scientist and equine surgeon, I am very excited by our findings (which) suggest that there are a number of other types of honey that are equally—if not more—effective (than manuka) in inhibiting the growth of bacteria in wounds,” said Patrick Pollock, DVM, PhD, of the Weipers Centre for Equine Welfare in the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Glasgow in Scotland.

Pollock and colleagues investigated the effects of 28 different honeys—the majority of which were purchased at a local supermarket—on infectious agents recovered from equine wounds. They first tested the honeys for the presence of infectious agents of their own. They then tested those considered “uncontaminated” in a laboratory on 10 different bacteria isolates from equine wounds

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Passionate about horses and science from the time she was riding her first Shetland Pony in Texas, Christa Lesté-Lasserre writes about scientific research that contributes to a better understanding of all equids. After undergrad studies in science, journalism, and literature, she received a master’s degree in creative writing. Now based in France, she aims to present the most fascinating aspect of equine science: the story it creates. Follow Lesté-Lasserre on Twitter @christalestelas.

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