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 It has provided all Lady's treatment at cost, including the Activon dressings, which have since been replaced by Dechra as a gesture of support.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.
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It was one of my colleagues, Amanda Manley, who treated Lady. I had little to do with actual therapies, but followed the case with interest.
It was apparent almost immediately - within the first couple of dressing changes - that previously non-healing burns were starting to heal rapidly. Granulation was increased, as was resolution of transudates and exudates. The dog was much happier. Concurrent painkillers and antibiotics were initially used, but these were continuations of previous treatment. I am probably the least wooly minded person out there, but I can honestly say that I was deeply impressed by the results.
We've now stopped dressing Lady's wounds and are seeing her for occasional check-ups. Aloe vera is about the only active ingredient currently being used and all is good. We don't expect miracles in terms of skin and hair regrowth, but we have a pain-free patient that is having an excellent quality of life.
Hope this answers your query. Not a scientific study, but we've been fairly objective in our assessments and as a result are now using honey dressings routinely
Publishing Editor: Arlo Guthrie
Clinical Editor: Alasdair Hotston Moore MA VetMB CertSAC CertVR CertSAS FRCVS
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