OBJECTIVES: To compare the effects of manuka honey and manuka honey gel on second intention healing of noncontaminated distal limb wounds and those contaminated with feces.
STUDY DESIGN: Experimental study.
ANIMALS: Standardbred horses (n = 10).
METHODS: Five full-thickness wounds (2 × 2 cm) were created on both metacarpi. Wounds on 1 forelimb were covered with horse feces for 24 hours. Wounds on the contralateral limb were left uncontaminated. Wounds were assigned to the following 5 different treatments: manuka honey, manuka honey gel or gel applied for 12 days, manuka honey gel applied throughout healing and untreated control. Wound area was measured on day 1 then weekly until day 42 and time to complete healing was recorded.
RESULTS: Wounds treated with manuka honey gel throughout healing healed faster than all other wounds (P < .05). Wounds treated with manuka honey and manuka honey gel for 12 days healed faster than gel control and untreated control wounds (P < .05). Wounds treated with manuka honey and manuka honey gel for 12 days and throughout healing were smaller than gel control and untreated control wounds until day 35 (P < .05). Wounds contaminated with feces had greater retraction for 7 days, but healed faster than noncontaminated wounds (P < .05).
CONCLUSIONS: Treatment of wounds with manuka honey and manuka honey gel reduced wound retraction and overall healing time compared with gel and untreated control wounds.