Medical-Grade Honey Helps Horse Wounds Heal

The secret to better equine wound healing might have been with us all along, thanks to bees.
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Medical-Grade Honey Helps Horse Wounds Heal
Researchers recently learned that medical-grade honey (MGH, which has been sterilized by gamma irradiation to eliminate any naturally occurring viable bacteria or spores) appears to facilitate significantly improved healing rates in naturally sustained wounds. | Photo: Photos.com
Fighting the risk of wound infection in the modern world of antimicrobial resistance isn’t easy, especially in horses. The nature of their skin and their environments make them particularly susceptible to a lengthy and tedious wound healing process, often challenged by infections and reopening.

But the secret to better equine wound healing might have been with us all along, thanks to bees.

Previous studies have already shown the benefits of honey in experimental wound healing. But researchers recently learned that medical-grade honey (MGH, which has been sterilized by gamma irradiation to eliminate any naturally occurring viable bacteria or spores) appears to facilitate significantly improved healing rates in naturally sustained wounds.

When field practitioners applied MGH to horses’ wounds prior to suturing, the defects were more likely to have complete wound healing within two weeks, before suture removal, than horses that didn’t receive MGH, said Gal Kelmer, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS, ECVS, of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Koret School of Veterinary Medicine, in Beit Dagan, Israel

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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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