Thursday, February 14, 2008

Honey Heals Canadian Horse’s Wounds

Honey Helps Heal Poet’s Wounds
By Eoin Callan, The Independent (Canada), 2/14/2008

…The transformation of the 18-acre hobby farm into an ark-like sanctuary has forced Ms. England to learn quickly about how to treat all manner of ailments.

But the most revelatory discovery was the healing power of the honey she had in her pantry.

The sticky nectar was suggested as an ointment in a losing battle to heal an open wound on the right rear leg of Poet, a chestnut gelding who lost a fight with a fence...

When it was suggested to her that she try unpasteurized honey, Ms. England was willing to give it a try as she had an ample supply on her shelves thanks to her neighbours the Skobas on Old Wooler Road who harvest it from their hives…

“The improvement was amazing. It has healed really well. The cut has closed up,” she says.

“We haven’t had to deal with proud flesh and that is because of the honey and we haven’t had to wrap it any longer so it is getting air and healing better,” she adds.

Ms. England estimates it would have taken “triple the time” for the wound to heal without the honey.

The improvement also impressed the vet Amy Doornekamp, from Finucane Equine, who visits the rescue farm regularly.

“I didn’t know much about it. I spoke to other vets and we kind of all shrugged our shoulders,” she says.

“But I was treating another horse that sustained a very similar injury within a week or two. When I came by to look at Poet there was a huge difference,” says Ms. Doornekamp.

“The owners of the other horse are now using honey and it is healing well,” she says...

Ms. England says that when spreading honey from a jar on a horse’s wound: “The important thing is that it has to be unpasteurized. When it is pasteurized everything is killed. It is no longer functioning the way it should.”…

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have a horse who has had a leg wound for almost 6 (YES, SIX!) years now. The wound is right below her hock. She has had two extensive and expensive surgeries at a major university to close the wound to no avail. After doing some research I decided I had nothing to lose. I have been dressing her wound daily with unpasteurized honey for about three weeks now and there is marked improvement, so much so that I now have hope that, with time and lots of honey, this wound will heal.

Anonymous said...

I also had a positive experience with honey when my mare injured herself very badly running into a partially opened paddock fence pipe that was cut at a angle. It punctured her chest, glanced off her shoulderblade and stopped at the girth area. When I found her she had lost alot of blood and a huge chunk of flesh was left in the pipe itself. After over 100 stitches inside and out and a large drain she was left to heal. The swelling was terrible and she had alot of drainage but after 10 days the vet took out tube. I knew she would be scarred for life because of the size of the wound area, it was so sad. A friend of mine told me about using honey to heal wound so I researed it and though I'd give it a try. I put in on every second day and by the third day I could see marked improvement. By the end of the week she was healing beautifully.My vet came to see her and told me to continue to use the honey because nothing else she could think of would work as well, she was VERY impressed. She ended up with only a hardly noticible 2 inch scar of white hair on her shoulder. I now recomend honey to everybody. A fellow boarder even used it on his filly's leg when she got herself cast in a feed trough and tore up the front side of her hock to the tendon and bone it was gruesome. He was considering putting the mare down. He immediatly stared using honey with immediate results. Two months later the entire injury is covered in hair, with very little scar tissue and the mare is sound. Thats unheard of for a lower leg injury.

Janice said...

I have a question and not sure how to contact Ms. England or the vet... do you think that honey will work on mud fever? We just bought a 5 year old chestnut TB and he has mud fever in his one white sock. Would I continue to clean the wounds with Betadine and then apply some honey? We board him right now and am concerned about any mess, not to mention the shavings and such getting stuck in the honey. I assume I will need to cover it with vet wrap. Any help would be appreciated. jbyer@docutype.net

Jenni Spies said...

I am in the midst of battling a horrific pair of long cuts from a half inch piece of tin that nearly cut my horses jugular vein. The vet who stitched it (100 or so - Anonymous I was intrigued by your post and would like to see pictures?) said it was one of the worst he had stitched on a horse in 30 years. Ironically, a girlfriend of mine had suggested using honey on a minor leg scratch a few months ago but I hadn't paid much notice to the advice as the cut healed fine without much treatment. Anyways, I now have a horse with 10-inch long, 2 inch gaping hole in his neck. Our vet suggested packing it with raw honey, and luckily a neighbour of ours has a bee hive on the farm and was able to give me a small bucket of unpasteurized honey. The instructions have been to thoroughly wash the wound with a soft scrub brush and iodine soap, then flush well. After, we squirt a syringe of half iodine half water into the top cut (about 8 inches long and not half as deep as the lower cut) and two syringes into the gaping hole in his chest, then pack both with honey. The ordeal happened on March 20th and I started using honey on the 28th- the speed at which these horrific wounds are healing is amazing! We have him on stall rest which he just hates and has been difficult at times. Re:Janice, to combat the problem of getting shavings in the wound, we have switched the bedding to straw. Yes the honey is sticky, but we're not finding Vinnie covered in bits of straw and he has been laying so it doesn't seem to be an issue. We're lucky it's cool and dry out so the flies aren't bad yet - there is such a thing as good bad luck, I guess. If you would like to follow the healing of this wound, I will be posting pictures on facebook regularly.

jeasley said...

I just recently had my son's 20 year old mare get her back leg cut on something. She had done this aprox. 24 hours before we found it. I clean it with peroxid and spray it extensively with water 2 or 3 times a day and then use an antibiotic spray that the vet suggested. Its not too the bone, however, it is fairly deep and wide. There was nothing left to stitch so this was his advice, keep it clean and doctored without being wrapped. Its been 5 days and there is no healing at all. It is not infected hoever, there is no healing. If I use the honey, do I wrap it or leave it open to air? I am very fortunate to have recently had a very large hive removed from my own pasture and we jarred up all the honey left behind. A local beekeeper told me honey NEVER goes bad! I am excited abouting getting started today so please reply about how exactly to apply... Thanks! Jennifer