Thursday, June 24, 2021

Using Manuka Honey to Treat Cat's Injury was Right Thing to Do

MV Times

...When all the debris and dead tissue was removed, I looked at it for a long time. There was not enough viable skin left on the top to suture closed. There were exposed tendons. On the bottom, at least all his pads were intact but much of the tissue between the pads, and farther up the leg, looked like hamburger. I palpated all the bones. Carpus. Metatarsals. Toes. There did not seem to be any broken. (We later confirmed this with radiographs.) “Okay,” I said to myself, trying to be optimistic. “I’ve seen worse things heal.” Out loud I asked my assistant to lay out my surgical equipment while I went into the house and grabbed the honey from my pantry.

That’s right. Honey. People have been using honey to treat wounds for more than 4,000 years. Now science has analyzed and documented why this ancient remedy can be so effective in certain circumstances. Honey helps dissolve away tissue that is no longer viable while simultaneously having antimicrobial effects, inhibiting bacterial growth. It helps draw fluid out of edematous tissues, reducing swelling. Honey can help the body to activate its own lymphocytes and to release substances that help with wound healing. Honey has antioxidant and moisturizing properties. Manuka honey, a product native to New Zealand made by bees who pollinate the manuka bush or tree (Leptospermum scoparium), is touted to have greatly enhanced anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory effects and to be the best type of honey for healing. It is actually approved by the FDA as a medical treatment for open wounds.

I didn’t happen to have medical grade Manuka honey, or any Manuka honey, in my cupboard, but in a pinch, any honey was better than none. I flushed Roro’s lesions thoroughly with sterile saline, sutured what I could to minimize the areas that would have to heal as open wounds. Then I slathered honey over the entire paw and applied a “wet-to-dry” bandage dressing. An injection of a long-acting broad spectrum antibiotic and a course of an oral nonsteroidal antiinflammatory medication and an opioid pain medication to be given for the next few days completed my ministrations. “Bring him back tomorrow for a bandage change,” I told his owner when Roro was awake enough to go home. “And pick him up a jar of Manuka honey.”...

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