Monday, May 28, 2007

Sea Lion Shark Bite Wound Treated with Honey

California Sea Lion Receives Sweet Treatment After Shark Attack
American Bee Journal, April 2007
Excerpted from “The Sea Dog,” Winter 2007

On September 6th the Care Center received a yearling female sea lion with extensive wounds to her side and abdomen. The marks were characteristic of a shark bite…

The problem was how best to treat a contaminated wound of this size. Sea lions are notoriously good at removing bandages and the necessary restraint for repeated bandage changes is stressful to the animal.

She was not stable enough to undergo anesthesia, so whatever treatment was selected would need to be rapidly applied and minimally painful to an awake animal.

Due to the size of the wound and the degree of contamination I decided to try a novel wound treatment that dates backs at least several centuries, honey.

Two bandages that looked something like big silver band aids were constructed with a cloth center which was coated with honey. This was applied to the wounds every other day for 2½ weeks.

No other topical treatments were used and no necrotic tissue was removed by a standard surgical procedure known as debridement.

The changes in the health of the wound were noticeable at the first bandage change. After two weeks sufficient healing had occurred that oral antibiotics were discontinued, the wound was left un-bandaged and the animal allowed to return to an in-ground pool with other animals. She was released December 1st with only a small crescent shaped wound still visible…

No comments: