Helping Horse Wounds Heal With Amnion

Amnion, the relatively thick innermost layer of the fetal tissues, contains numerous biological molecules that promote tissue growth and improve wound healing, researchers say.
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Amnion, the relatively thick innermost layer of the fetal tissues, contains numerous biological molecules that promote tissue growth and improve wound healing. | Photo: Courtesy Dr. Annette McCoy

Lacerations, burns, chronic nonhealing wounds, cast sores, and other skin-related ailments affecting the lower limb pose treatment challenges for even the most experienced veterinarians. The decreased blood flow and dearth of soft tissue to help mend horse wounds in this area contribute to prolonged healing, poor aesthetics, and even excessive granulation tissue (aka proud flesh).

As such, practitioners are always on the hunt for new treatment options to help improve wound healing outcomes. At the 2017 American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention, held Nov. 17-21, in San Antonio, Texas, Annette M. McCoy, DVM, MS, PhD, Dipl. ACVS, described how veterinarians can improve wound healing using a product that might seem more at home in the neonatal wing of a clinic: amnion.

“Equine amnion, the relatively thick innermost layer of the fetal tissues, contains numerous biological molecules that promote tissue growth and wound healing,” said McCoy, an assistant professor of equine surgery at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, in Urbana. “Examples include epidermal growth factor, transforming growth factor-β, and vascular endothelial growth factor. In addition, amnion recruits stem cells to wound beds to facilitate healing

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Written by:

Stacey Oke, MSc, DVM, is a practicing veterinarian and freelance medical writer and editor. She is interested in both large and small animals, as well as complementary and alternative medicine. Since 2005, she’s worked as a research consultant for nutritional supplement companies, assisted physicians and veterinarians in publishing research articles and textbooks, and written for a number of educational magazines and websites.

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