A German Shepherd bitch is making an impressive recovery from serious burns, after treatment with manuka honey impregnated dressings.

'Lady' sustained her injuries after being trapped in a blazing house in Cornwall, as reported by the BBC. She has since been under the care of Amanda Manley at the Cornwall Animal Hospital, who has been using Activon Tulle Manuka honey impregnated dressings to treat the wounds.

Amanda said: "I'd like to say it was all down to the manuka honey, although it's difficult to make a scientific judgement without a control in place. Nevertheless I am very impressed with the results and will definitely use honey again in a similar situation"

Rachel Fuller, Product Manager for Activon (medical grade manuka honey dressings) at Dechra Veterinary Products said: "In human medicine, manuka honey has become popular as a result of its antibacterial and healing properties. All honey has a degree of effectiveness, but the unique properties of manuka honey make it by far the most effective for use on wounds. It is now gaining recognition among veterinary professionals, which has led to the introduction of honey-based wound management systems for animal care".

According to Dechra, Manuka honey has been shown to be effective against over 70 strains of bacteria commonly found in wounds, including MRSA1. It also has an osmotic effect which draws fluid from a wound bed and helps to remove slough and debride necrotic tissue that can harbour bacteria and impede wound healing2. It protects the wound bed and provides a moist wound healing environment3 and the water soluble antioxidants provide favourable conditions that help to promote granulation and epithelialisation, thus faster healing. There is a rapid reduction in odour when honey is applied to a malodorous wound and it also acts as an anti-inflammatory, which therefore reduces pain.

The Cornwall Animal Hospital is a registered charity which exists to provide affordable pet care to those on a low income. It has provided all Lady's treatment at cost, including the Activon dressings, which have since been replaced by  Dechra as a gesture of support.

Photographs of the case at initial examination, post debridement / pre-treatment and post treatment are in the galleries.


  • 1. Molan, P.C., The antibacterial activity of honey. Part 1. Its use in modern medicine. Bee World 1992; 80(2): 5-28
  • 2. Molan, P.C., EWMA Congress, Glasgow 2007
  • 3. Dunford, C., et al. The use of honey in wound management. Nursing Standard, November 2000; 15,11,63-68

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