Monday, July 27, 2009

The Science of Wound Ointments for Horses - Full Article

A topical wound preparation can have a big impact--positive or negative--on the healing process. Here are tips from a wound-care expert for selecting the right product for your horse's injury.

By Christine Barakat

Your horse comes in from the pasture with a small cut on his chest. Maybe he hit the fence while playing or perhaps it was a tree.

In any case, the wound is fresh, clean and small. No need to call the veterinarian--you can handle this yourself. You reach for a tube of the thick wound ointment you've always used and smear a good-sized glob across the cut. That'll take care of it. Or will it?

Perhaps, says researcher Georgie Hollis, BSc, MVWHA, but it depends on what's in the tube.

The right preparation applied at the right time can protect a wound, support natural healing processes and minimize the risk of complications. But, warns Hollis, use the wrong type at the wrong time and you could actually slow down or even halt healing.

For the past three years, Hollis has been working to help make choosing the right ointment for each situation easier. A former podiatrist, she first observed the challenges of wound healing when she treated foot lesions in diabetic patients. In late 2006, Hollis, motivated by her personal interest in animals and horses in particular, began studying veterinary wound care. She now works with leading equine researchers, such as the University of Liverpool's Derek Knottenbelt, DVMS, MRCVS, in investigating and sharing information about how various treatment techniques affect healing.


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